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Eur J Cancer. 2016 Jan;52:155-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2015.10.008. Epub 2015 Dec 11.

Statins and survival outcomes in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. Electronic address:
Pfizer Oncology, Pfizer Inc., 235 East 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10017 USA.
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.
Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.
Department of Urology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, 10065, USA.
Department of Medical Oncology, Tom Baker Cancer Center, 1331 29 Street Northwest, Calgary, AB T2N 4N2, Canada.



A growing body of evidence has demonstrated the anti-neoplastic activity of statins. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of statin use on survival in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) treated in the modern therapy era.


We conducted a pooled analysis of mRCC patients treated on phase II and III clinical trials. Statistical analyses were performed using Cox regression and the Kaplan-Meier method.


We identified 4736 patients treated with sunitinib (n=1059), sorafenib (n=772), axitinib (n=896), temsirolimus (n=457), temsirolimus+interferon (IFN)-α (n=208), bevacizumab+temsirolimus (n=393), bevacizumab+IFN-α (n=391) or IFN-α (n=560), of whom 511 were statin users. Overall, statin users demonstrated an improved overall survival (OS) compared to non-users (25.6 versus 18.9 months, adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 0.801, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.659-0.972, p=0.025). When stratified by therapy type, a benefit in OS was demonstrated in statin users compared to non-users in individuals receiving therapy targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (28.4 versus 22.2 months, aHR 0.749, 95% CI 0.584-0.961, p=0.023) or mammalian target of rapamycin (18.6 versus 14.0 months, aHR 0.657, 95% CI 0.445-0.972, p=0.035) but not in those receiving IFN-α (15.6 versus 14.8 months, aHR 1.292, 95% CI 0.703-2.275, p=0.410). Adverse events were similar between users and non-users.


We demonstrate that statin use may be associated with improved survival in patients with mRCC treated in the targeted therapy era. Statins could represent an adjunct therapy for patients with mRCC; however, this is hypothesis generating and requires prospective evaluation.


HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors; Prognosis; Renal cell carcinoma; Statins; Targeted therapy

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