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Urol Oncol. 2005 Jan-Feb;23(1):49-55.

Statins and cholesterol lowering after a cancer diagnosis: why not?

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  • 1Phil F. Jenkins Director of Complementary & Alternative Medicine, Department of Urology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, 48109-0330, USA.


The pleiotropic effects of statins continue to garner attention. One area of interest that requires more attention is their potential, or that of another heart healthy agent, to impact favorably or inhibit the progression of numerous cancers, especially prostate cancer. Statins have accumulated a plethora of data in the area of general cancer cell line inhibition, and the potential to have a synergistic impact in patients receiving a variety of conventional treatments for a diversity of cancers is endorsed at least by laboratory and some preliminary small clinical studies. However, prostate cancer is unique compared to other cancers because, despite a high prevalence, some men choose watchful waiting or no treatment, especially if they are older and/or have a well-differentiated tumor. Thus, prostate cancer is a good candidate for the potential investigation of statins after diagnosis, with or without standard therapy. Regardless, because the number 1 or 2 cause of death in men with prostate cancer is cardiovascular disease than even in the worst-case scenario, these agents appear attractive for more immediate clinical study because they could impact a major cause of morbidity and mortality in these men. It is time to see the forest over the tree, and statins seem to have an argument as good as many other agents for allocating more money and time to test their ability as adjuvant therapy in a randomized trial or, in some cases, of nonaggressive disease as a potential monotherapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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