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Statins may have a positive affect on survival


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Urology. 2005 Dec;66(6):1150-4.

Statins, especially atorvastatin, may favorably influence clinical presentation and biochemical progression-free survival after brachytherapy for clinically localized prostate cancer.

Moyad MA, Merrick GS, Butler WM, Wallner KE, Galbreath RW, Kurko B, Adamovich E.


Department of Complementary/Alternative Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.



To conduct a preliminary investigation on statin use and its impact on clinical presentation and biochemical progression-free survival after brachytherapy.


A total of 512 consecutive patients were treated with permanent brachytherapy for clinical Stage T1c-T3aNxM0 prostate cancer at least 3 years before analysis. Biochemical progression-free survival was defined by a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level of 0.4 ng/mL or less after nadir. The median follow-up was 5.3 years. The clinical, treatment, and dosimetric parameters evaluated included use of any and specific statins, age, body mass index, PSA level, Gleason score, percentage of positive biopsies, perineural invasion, prostate volume, planning volume, dosimetric quality, supplemental external beam radiotherapy, tobacco use, hypertension, and diabetes.


The actuarial 8-year biochemical progression-free survival rate for the entire group was 94.6%. On forward conditional Cox regression analysis, the pretreatment PSA level and percentage of positive biopsies were statistically significant predictors of biochemical outcome. However, a significantly lower pretreatment PSA level, percentage of positive biopsy cores, and PSA density and earlier clinical stage were found in the statin group. Almost every clinical presentation parameter comparison at least favored statin users. When stratified by any or specific statin use, 97.0% of patients taking statins compared with 94.3% not taking statins and 97.8% of patients taking atorvastatin compared with 94.7% taking other statins were free of biochemical progression.


The results of this brachytherapy investigation with the longest reported follow-up period to date suggest that statins, especially atorvastatin, may improve most clinical presentations with a nonsignificant improvement in 8-year biochemical progression-free survival.

PMID: 16360430

[Tony: this seems to say that if you have been taking statins, on diagnosis you likely had lower PSA, fewer biopsy samples with cancer in them, and with the cancer less spread than non-statin users.

However, for those of us with the disease, interested in survival, the two key words are "favored" and "nonsignificant". The statin group was slightly ahead, but statistics tell us that the difference may have been by chance.]

This extract can be found on http://PubMed.com, and is in the public domain.

On PubMed.com there will be a link to the full paper (often $30, sometimes free).

Any highlighting (except the title) is not by the author, but by Tony Maxwell.

Tony is not a doctor.

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