The findings of a new study have revealed that statins could actually help slow down the progression of prostate cancer in men with advanced stages of the disease and those who take hormone suppressant medications.
Infact, previous studies have also found a link between the use of statins and improvement in clinical outcomes for prostate cancer, and it is speculated that it could be due to the fact that statins use the same gene to enter cells as other drugs and hormones do.
It is, however, not yet clear if statins can actually have any impact on improving prostate cancer outcomes in men who are undergoing androgen deprivation therapy, which is the cornerstone treatment for those affected by hormone-sensitive prostate cancer.
For the study, the researchers made use of prostate cancer cell lines and checked how statins reacted to it.
They also analyzed the use of statins in 926 patients taking hormone suppressant medications for prostate cancer, and after monitoring them for a period of 6 years, they found that the disease progressed in around 70% of the patients.
However, the difference was that in men who took statins, the time taken for the disease to progress was much longer than those who didn’t take statins.
“Our in vitro finding that statins competitively reduce DHEAS uptake, thus effectively decreasing the available intratumoral androgen pool, affords a plausible mechanism to support the clinical observation of prolonged TTP [time to progression] in statin users,” the researchers state.
They speculate that this may be due to the ability of statins to delay the resistance the body develops to hormone supplements, and thereby improving outcomes for prostate cancer patients.
“In all, [the authors] have conducted an interesting analysis linking in vitro preclinical data with retrospective patient outcomes, providing a framework for future evaluation. Nonetheless, the current data are not sufficient to support incorporation of statin use into clinical oncology practice for patients with prostate cancer and additional studies are required,” they add.