SAN ANTONIO — As the most common cancer in men in the United States, prostate cancer is associated with a prolonged survival and patient care often includes optimizing other comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease.

In fact, according to a presentation at the recent 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, death in prostate cancer patients is often reported to be nonprostate cancer-related, attributed to other medical conditions.1

Researchers from the University of Texas Health at San Antonio and the South Texas Veterans Health Care System pointed to multiple reports and epidemiological studies of statins decreasing the risk, progression and overall mortality of prostate cancer.

Researchers said they had previously gathered data on 300 patients diagnosed with prostate cancer at the VA in San Antonio, with results indicating that using statins has a statistically significant positive effect at delaying death by prostate cancer, with a p-value of 0.018.

Now, the study team has updated its results with the addition of 105 patients. The retrospective observational study involved chart review of 405 patients diagnosed with prostate cancer from 1995 to 2010, in a VAMC in San Antonio, Texas. Variables included age of diagnosis, statin use, type of statin (First, second or third generation), dose of statin (six levels of dosage were identified), length of statin use, time followed in months (from time of diagnosis to either death or the end of the study period), death and cause of death.

Defined as the primary end point was death by prostate cancer, which occurred in 33 patients, with secondary end points being death by any cancer, occurring in 71 patients, and and death by all causes in 205 patients.

Researchers reported that the hazard ratio for use of statins for at least six months was 0.56, with 95% confidence limits of 0.41 to 1.13, and a p-value of 0.118, indicating no statistically significant effect of statin usage and delay in death by prostate cancer. Secondary endpoint of death by all causes was significantly affected by statins, however, while death by any cancer showed no significant effect.

“The study was unable to conclude if the type of statin, dose of statin or the length of statin use had a significant effect in reaching the different end points,” the authors noted.

They added, “The addition of 105 more patients to this study has changed our previous statistically significant primary endpoint results. Concomitant statin use may not help prevent death from prostate cancer or death from any cancer but may help prevent death from all causes. This updated primary endpoint data conflicts with multiple prior epidemiological studies and raises questions on the impact of statin usage on men with prostate cancer.”

  1. Warnecke B, Garza J, Datta P, Hung A, et. Al. (2020, May 29-31.) Outcomes of statin use in veterans with prostate cancer: A retrospective single-center experience. ASCO20 Virtual Scientific Program.