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J Clin Oncol. 2013 Apr 20;31(12):1514-21. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2012.44.6831. Epub 2013 Mar 18.

Statins and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with hepatitis C virus infection.

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National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.



Statins may have protective effects against cancer, but no studies have focused on their effects in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between use of statins and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in HCV-infected patients.


Ours was a population-based cohort study of 260,864 HCV-infected patients enrolled in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database since January 1, 1999, and observed through December 31, 2010. Cox proportional hazards regression with time-dependent covariates for drug exposures was employed to evaluate the association between statin use and HCC risk.


There were 27,883 cases of HCC in the HCV cohort during a follow-up period of 2,792,016.6 person-years. Among the 35,023 patients using statins (defined as ≥ 28 cumulative defined daily doses [cDDDs]), 1,378 had HCC. Among the 225,841 patients not using statins (< 28 cDDDs), 26,505 were diagnosed with HCC. A dose-response relationship between statin use and HCC risk was observed. The adjusted hazard ratios were 0.66 (95% CI, 0.59 to 0.74), 0.47 (95% CI, 0.40 to 0.56), and 0.33 (95% CI, 0.25 to 0.42) for patients with 28 to 89, 90 to 180, and > 180 cDDDs per year, respectively, relative to nonusers. The reduction in risk also demonstrated a progressive duration-response relationship in patients with ≥ 28 cDDDs per year when compared with nonusers.


Among patients with HCV infection, statin use was associated with reduced risk of HCC. Further research is needed to elucidate the mechanism responsible for this effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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