By Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Drugs that many males with prostate cancer would possibly already be taking — cholesterol-lowering statins — might assist lengthen their survival if they’ve a “high-risk” type of the illness, new analysis suggests.
High-risk sufferers embrace males with excessive blood ranges of prostate particular antigen (PSA) and a “Gleason score” of eight or more. Gleason scores are a calculation used to gauge prognosis in prostate most cancers. Men with a excessive Gleason score might develop difficult-to-treat cancers.
Prior analysis had recommended that statins and the diabetes drug metformin (typically prescribed collectively) have anticancer properties. However, it hasn’t been clear which of the 2 medicine is the larger cancer-fighter, or whether or not both would possibly assist in opposition to high-risk prostate most cancers.
To assist reply these questions, a workforce led by Grace Lu-Yao of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center–Jefferson Health, in Philadelphia, tracked knowledge on practically 13,000 high-risk prostate most cancers sufferers. All had been recognized between 2007 and 2011.
The examine could not show trigger and impact, nevertheless it discovered that statins, taken alone or with metformin, did appear related to a rise in survival.
Men who took each statins and metformin had increased median survival (3.9 years) than those that took statins alone (3.6 years), metformin alone (3.1 years), or those that didn’t take both drug (3.1 years).
The examine was printed Feb. eight within the journal Cancer Medicine.
“Both metformin and statins have been related to longer life in prostate most cancers sufferers, but as a result of they’re generally prescribed collectively, no examine we all know of has checked out these two drugs individually,” Lu-Yao stated in a middle information launch. She’s affiliate director of inhabitants science on the heart.
“With respect to prostate mortality, metformin plus statin was associated with a 36% reduction in risk of death followed by statins alone,” Lu-Yao added.
The examine additionally discovered that those that took one in every of three kinds of statin — atorvastatin, pravastatin or rosuvastatin — had longer survival than those that didn’t take any statins. An identical profit was not seen with a fourth statin, lovastatin.
Because prostate most cancers thrives on testosterone, sufferers typically obtain therapies that cut back ranges of male hormones (androgens). The new examine discovered that amongst sufferers who obtained such therapies, those that took atorvastatin had an extended median time to prostate most cancers development than those that did not take statins.
It’s not clear why such results had been restricted to atorvastatin, Lu-Yao stated, nevertheless it seems to have the most effective “bioavailability” of the statin medicine and lingers longest within the physique.
The analysis workforce believes that, based mostly on the present proof, a scientific trial must be performed to evaluate the effectiveness of statins and the mixture of statins/metformin in extending survival of prostate most cancers sufferers.
Two prostate most cancers specialists unconnected to the brand new examine agreed that the findings present promise.
“It appears that there may be a place in the treatment of prostate cancer for statins,” stated Dr. Elizabeth Kavaler, a urology specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “However, we are not yet at a point where we can use the data to direct patient care.”
She believes testosterone could also be key here. According to Kavaler, increased cholesterol levels promote increased ranges of androgens, which in flip assist encourage the expansion of prostate most cancers. Statins might assist sluggish that course of, Kavaler defined.
Dr. Manish Vira is vice chair for urologic analysis at The Arthur Smith Institute for Urology in New Hyde Park, N.Y. He agreed that the findings are encouraging, and famous that “a dozen actively recruiting scientific trials utilizing both metformin or a statin in prostate cancer treatment” are already underway.