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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
Audrey Abella, 09 Jun 2017
Maintenance therapy with olaparib significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) and patient-centred benefits in patients with germline BRCA-mutated, platinum-sensitive relapsed serous ovarian cancer (gBRCAm PSR SOC) compared with placebo, according to the SOLO* 2 trial presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2017 held in Chicago, Illinois, US.
Elvira Manzano, 14 Jun 2017
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Pearl Toh, 01 Aug 2016
Understanding biomarkers predictive of treatment outcomes or response can help inform treatment decisions and personalize care for advanced prostate cancer patients, suggested an expert at the recent Urological Association of Asia Annual Congress (UAA 2016) held in Singapore.
Audrey Abella, 13 Jun 2017
A psychological intervention, Conquer Fear, may help alleviate fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) in cancer survivors, according to a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2017 held in Chicago, Illinois, US.