ORLANDO, Fla.—Statin use is associated with a survival benefit in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) treated in the era of targeted therapy, according to study findings presented at the 2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

The study, by Rana R. McKay, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues was a pooled analysis of 4,736 mRCC patients who participated in phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. The study population included 1,059 treated with sunitinib, 772 with sorafenib, 896 with axitinib, 457 with temsirolimus, 208 with temsirolinum plus interferon-alpha, 393 with bevacizumab plus temsirolimus, 391 with bevacizumab plus interferon-alpha, and 560 with interferon-alpha. Of the 4,738 patients, 511 used statins.

Statin use was associated with a significant improvement in overall survival compared with non-use (25.6 vs. 18.9 months), a difference that translated into a nearly 22% decreased risk of death in adjusted analyses. Statin use was not associated with a significant improvement in progression-free survival.

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Dr. McKay’s group also looked at statin use versus non-use by therapy type. In adjusted analyses, statin use was associated with a significantly decreased risk of death among patients treated with therapies targeting vascular endothelial growth factor or mammalian target of rapamycin (risk reductions of about 25% and 34%, respectively). Statin use did not affect death risk in patients treated with interferon-alpha. Statin users and non-users had similar adverse event rates.

Statins could represent a potential adjunct therapeutic option for patients with metastatic RCC, the authors concluded.

In a separate study published recently in Urologic Oncology (2015;33:e11-17), Samuel D. Kaffenberger, MD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, and colleagues found that statin use was independently associated with improved 3-year overall and disease-specific survival among RCC surgery patients. The investigators analyzed data from 916 patients who had radical or partial nephrectomy for RCC at Vanderbilt from 2000 to 2010. The median follow-up was 42.5 months. The 3-year overall survival rate was 83% for statin users versus 77% for non-users. Disease-specific survival was 91% for statin users versus 84% for non-users.