Statin use after oesophageal cancer diagnosis may improve survival
The use of statins after diagnosis seems to improve survival in patients with oesophageal cancer, a recent study has found.
Researchers enrolled 7,882 oesophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and 3,868 oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients, in whom the pre- and postdiagnosis treatments with statins were determined from pharmacy records. A 3-month lag in the analysis was employed to reduce the likelihood of reverse causation.
In the EAC group, 2,160 participants (mean age 67.4±8.2 years; 99.5 percent male) had reported statin use while the remaining 5,722 (mean age 66.5±9.8 years; 99.3 percent male) did not. In comparison, there were 661 users (mean age 68.5±8.5 years; 98.9 percent male) and 3,207 nonusers (mean age 66.1±9.8 years; 98.7 percent male) in the ESCC group.
Majority of the patients died during follow-up (EAC: 84 percent; ESCC: 91.5 percent). The median survival times were 13.5 months and 11.0 months in the EAC and ESCC cohorts, respectively.
Postdiagnosis statin use was reported in 27.4 percent of EAC patients, in whom the median survival time was significantly greater than that in nonusers (23.0 vs 11.0 months; p<0.001). Cancer-specific (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.79; 95 percent CI, 0.70–0.88) and all-cause (adjusted HR, 0.80; 0.74–0.86) mortality risks were significantly lower in statin users.
The same was true for ESCC patients. The median survival time for statin users was 22.4 months, which was significantly longer than the 9.79 months in nonusers. The risks of cancer-specific (adjusted HR, 0.77; 0.63–0.92) and all-cause (adjusted HR, 0.83; 0.74–0.95) mortality were likewise significantly reduced in statin users vs nonusers.
However, in a subsequent analysis that introduced a 6-month lag, “the effect estimates for statin use on mortality were attenuated towards the null and indicated, at most, a 10-percent lower risk of mortality associated with postdiagnosis statin use,” said researchers.