Prolonged Use of Statins Helped Reduce Risk Of Lung Cancer Deaths, Study Says

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Annual Lung Cancer Screening By Medicare
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A new study shows that prolonged statin use can reduce death cases in patients with lung cancer. According to the published study, lung cancer patients who took statins, particularly simvastatin, prior to or after a lung cancer diagnosis were shown to have this reduced risk of death.

The study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention was conducted to investigate improved cancer outcomes in lung cancer patients who use statins. Researchers used data from almost 14,000 patients who have been diagnosed with lung cancer from 1998 and 2009.

The data was taken from the English cancer registry data. It also includes prescription records taken from the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink, as well as mortality data taken from the Office of National Statistics, American Association for Cancer Research press release states.

Those patients who survived six months after receiving diagnosis and have used statins had a statistically non-significant 11 percent reduction in lung cancer deaths, as stated in the press release. In patients who used at least 12 statin medications, a statistically significant reduction of 19 percent in deaths were recorded.

Patients who use lipophilic statins like simvastatin were shown to have a 19 percent reduction in lung cancer-associated deaths. Of all participants of the study, those who received statins prior to a lung cancer diagnosis had a significant 12 percent reduction in lung cancer-associated deaths.

According to Caldwell, there is an interest in exploring the potential of new therapeutic indications from current medications because their side effects profiles are already known and they are less expensive as well. However, the study needs further evaluation as he explained in the press release that some simvastatin users may be different from non-users in various ways that may have helped protect them from cancer death.

Caldwell noted no difference in the study outcomes in patients with non-small cell and small cell lung cancer. “We hope to conduct a similar analysis in a large cohort of lung cancer patients from Northern Ireland,” he said.

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