Concomitant use of statins and metformin may decrease a prostate cancer (PCa) patient’s risk of biochemical recurrence (BCR) following radical prostatectomy compared with the use of either medication alone, researchers concluded.

Matthew Danzig, MD, and collaborators at the Herbert Irving Cancer Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, retrospectively studied 767 diabetic men undergoing radical prostatectomy for PCa. Of these, 76 (9.9%) were users of statins only, 56 (7.3%) were users of metformin only, and 42 (5.5%) used both statins and metformin. The cohort had a median postoperative follow-up period of 27 months.

In multivariable analysis, statin use alone or metformin use alone was not significantly associated with BCR-free survival, but dual use of statins and metformin was associated with a significant 80% decreased risk of BCR than would be expected from each medication’s independent effects, the researchers reported online ahead of print in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases.

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Dr. Danzig’s group noted that a synergism between statins and metformin is biologically plausible based on the current understanding of their diverse molecular pathways of action.