Prolonged exposure to high-dose atorvastatin may suppress prostate cancer proliferation
Long exposure to atorvastatin appears to slightly reduce prostate cancer proliferation rates in patients scheduled for radical prostatectomy, according to a recent study.
The study included 158 statin-naïve prostate cancer patients who were randomly assigned to receive either 80 mg atorvastatin (n=80; median age 64 years) or placebo (n=78; median age 63 years) daily for a median duration of 27 days. Baseline lifestyle habits, comorbidities and tumour characteristics were comparable between both treatment arms.
Overall, no significant difference in the median levels of tumour proliferation marker Ki-67 was observed between the two treatment arms (placebo vs atorvastatin: 1.98 vs 1.78; percent difference, –10 percent; p=0.9). However, effect modification by exposure time was statistically significant (p=0.032).
Moreover, after exposure for 28 days, there was a borderline-significant 14.1-percent reduction in Ki-67 levels in the atorvastatin arm (median level: 1.70; p=0.056).
Median levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) were significantly comparable between the placebo and atorvastatin arms (–0.2 vs –0.4 ng/mL; difference, –0.2 ng/mL; p=0.2). While treatment duration had no effect on PSA levels, atorvastatin was significantly superior among high-grade cases (p=0.024).
The treatment had no significant effect on the combined inflammation score, as well as on inflammation on separate tissue compartments. In high-grade cases, atorvastatin significantly suppressed intraprostatic inflammation.
Overall, the findings showed that while short-term, high-dose intervention with atorvastatin was well-tolerated, it yielded no significant beneficial effects, except in patients with high-grade malignancies. On the other hand, extended exposure successfully reduced prostate cancer proliferation.