ORLANDO—Diabetic prostate cancer (PCa) patients who take both metformin and a statin may lower their risk of biochemical recurrence (BCR) after radical prostatectomy, researchers reported at the American Urological Association 2014 annual meeting.

“Studies on the effect of metformin or statins on BCR in men following radical prostatectomy (RP) have yielded mixed results,” they stated in their study abstract. “Given the variety of pathways by which these drugs are thought to act, we sought to determine if the two drugs have a synergistic effect on BCR.”

Matthew Danzig, MD, and collaborators at Columbia University in New York analyzed data from 3,031 patients who underwent RP from 1987- 2010 and who had at least 6 months of follow-up. They excluded patients who received neoadjuvant or adjuvant therapy.

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The overall BCR rate was 23.7%. Diabetics had a rate of 30.5%, which was reduced to 28.3% with metformin use and 23.5% with statin use. Combined use further reduced the rate to 15%, similar to the 13% rate observed in non-diabetics who were taking statins.

Statins but not metformin was associated with a reduced BCR rate on univariate analysis, and neither drug individually showed any significant change in multivariate analysis.

“The synergy between these two medications should be considered when designing clinical trials to determine the effect of either drug on PCa progression and survival,” the authors concluded.