Prostate Cancer Death Risk Lowered by Statin-Metformin Combo

In a study of high-risk PCa patients, the statin-metformin combo was associated with a 43% reduction in risk compared with non-use of the medications.
In a study of high-risk PCa patients, the statin-metformin combo was associated with a 43% reduction in risk compared with non-use of the medications.

Statins either alone or in combination with metformin may decrease the risk of dying from prostate cancer (PCa), according to study findings presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago.

In a study of 22,110 high-risk PCa patients, of whom 1,365 died from the cancer, Grace L. Lu-Yao, PhD, an epidemiologist at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick, and colleagues found that the reduction in the risk of PCa-specific mortality (PCSM) was most pronounced among patients who were obese or had metabolic syndrome.

For the cohort overall, statin treatment alone and combination statin/metformin treatment were associated with a 40% and 43% decreased risk of PCSM, respectively, compared with non-users of the medications, Dr. Lu-Yao's group reported. Among patients who were obese or had metabolic syndrome, statin treatment alone and combination statin/metformin treatment were associated with a 91% and 70% decreased risk, respectively. Among patients who were not obese or did not have metabolic syndrome, the treatments were associated with a 36% and 40% decreased risk, respectively.

The researchers defined high-risk patients as those with stage T3/T4 tumors, Gleason 8–10 tumors, or a PSA level above 20 ng/mL. They identified the patients using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare linked data. They identified use of statins and metformin from Medicare Part D Event files. 

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