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Dr. Alexander Drilon, 19 Jul 2017
With the dramatic evolution of sequencing technology and emergence of effective targeted therapies, using a comprehensive molecular approach to guide treatment decisions is becoming more accessible and applicable in the clinic. At the recent Foundation Medicine meeting in Hong Kong, Dr Alexander Drilon, clinical director of the Early Drug Development Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York, US, discussed the current landscape and potential benefits of comprehensive molecular profiling in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Prediagnostic statin exposure positively influences breast cancer-specific survival

08 Sep 2017

Prediagnostic statin exposure appears to be associated with a significant reduction in breast cancer-specific mortality, with the survival benefit being more pronounced in women with oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumours, according to a study.

The study included 6,314 women with stages I to III breast cancer, including 2,082 with prediagnostic statin exposure (median age 71 years). In the group with no prediagnostic statin use (n=4,232), the median age was 67 years.

Prediagnostic statin use was analysed in relation to lymph node status and breast cancer-specific and all-cause mortality.

There was no association between prediagnostic statin use and lymph node negative status at diagnosis (adjusted risk ratio [RR], 1.01; 95 percent CI, 0.95 to 1.08).

However, prediagnostic statin users had particularly lower all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.78; 0.69 to 0.89) and breast cancer-specific mortality (adjusted HR, 0.81; 0.68 to 0.96) compared with prediagnostic nonusers.

The protective effect of prediagnostic statin exposure on cancer-specific mortality was greatest in statin-users with ER-positive tumours (adjusted HR, 0.69; 0.55 to 0.85).

Researchers explained that the association between prediagnostic statin and reduced breast cancer-specific mortality and all-cause mortality in patients with stages I to III disease, particularly among those with ER-positive breast cancer, may be explained by cholesterol-lowering effect of statins.

Statins reduce the level of cholesterol in the circulation, and, subsequently, the level of 27-hydroxycholesterol (27HC)—a cholesterol metabolite and a selective ER receptor modulator (SERM) capable of promoting proliferation in ER-positive cells. So, it is possible that the decrease in 27HC may reduce the proliferation of ER-positive tumour cells. [Climacteric J Int Menopause Soc 2014;17:60–65; Oncotarget 2016;5:59640–59651]

Additional studies are needed to further explore the complex interplay between statin exposure, tumour 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme-A reductase expression and breast cancer outcomes, researchers said.

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Most Read Articles
Dr. Alexander Drilon, 19 Jul 2017
With the dramatic evolution of sequencing technology and emergence of effective targeted therapies, using a comprehensive molecular approach to guide treatment decisions is becoming more accessible and applicable in the clinic. At the recent Foundation Medicine meeting in Hong Kong, Dr Alexander Drilon, clinical director of the Early Drug Development Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York, US, discussed the current landscape and potential benefits of comprehensive molecular profiling in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).