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Statins may protect against lethal prostate disease

Friday November 22nd, 2019

Statins may help protect men from the most lethal forms of prostate cancer, according to Irish researchers.

The drugs do not reduce overall rates of disease – but appear to improve survival chances, according to the research, which combines observational and laboratory studies.

Researchers at Queen’s University, Belfast, UK, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, USA, worked together on the project, reported in Clinical Cancer Research.

The studied outcomes for 44,000 men over 24 years and concluded that those who took statins enjoyed a 24% reduced risk of developing a lethal prostate cancer.

There was also a strong inverse association for risk of PTEN-null cancers.

The researchers went on to study tissue samples and found evidence of statins affecting levels of inflammation and immune response.

Researcher Dr Emma Allott, from Queen's University, said: “By studying a large group of men who had been monitored for 24 years, we were able to see the link between statin use and the prevention of lethal prostate cancer. We then looked at tissue samples from some of these men to try and understand why the statin use was having this impact.

“Although the findings are at an early stage, we were able to see that statin use may affect inflammation and immunity levels in the prostates of some men as well as having an effect on the characteristics of the tumour itself.

"Our findings are in agreement with some of the known biology of statins but are the first to observe these effects in prostate cancer.”

Statin use is associated with lower risk of PTEN-null and lethal prostate cancer. Clinical Cancer Research 21 November 2019

https://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2019/11/16/1078-0432.CCR-19-2853

Tags: Cancer | Europe | Men's Health | North America | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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