After radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer, men who took the medications had a 30% lower risk.

Prostate cancer patients who use statins may be at lower risk of PSA recurrence after radical prostatectomy (RP) compared with those who do not use the medications, according to investigators.

In the first study to date examining the association between statin use and PSA recurrence after RP, a team led by Robert J. Hamilton, MD, MPH, a urology resident at the University of Toronto and a former research fellow at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., where the study was conducted, analyzed data from 1,325 RP patients, of whom 237 (18%) were using statins. Statin users, on average, were two years older and underwent RP more recently (median year of surgery 2004 vs. 2002) than nonusers.

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After adjusting for clinical and pathologic factors, statin use was associated with a 30% reduced risk of PSA recurrence, Dr. Hamilton reported. The reduction in risk was dose-dependent. Compared with nonusers, men receiving less than a 20 mg dose of a statin had no reduction in risk, but patients who took a 20 mg dose and those who took a dose higher than 20 mg had a 43% and 50% reduced risk, respectively.

If these results are confirmed in other studies, it might be prudent to prescribe a statin to all prostate cancer patients undergoing RP, the investigators concluded.

Previous studies suggest that statins may decrease the risk of advanced prostate cancer, lower PSA, and improve outcomes among prostate cancer patients treated with radiation.