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Information and Resources from the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center
New Analysis Looks at Role of Statins in Reducing Colon Cancer RiskA new review shows that statins -- cholesterollowering drugs used to prevent cardiac problems -- are associated with reduced risk of colon and rectal cancers. A comprehensive analysis by investigators at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center looked at 22 previously published scientific studies with more than 2.5 million combined participants.
Read New Analysis Looks at Role of Statins in Reducing Colon Cancer Risk in its entirety.
"Statin use was associated with a statistically significant reduction in colorectal cancer," says Jewel Samadder, M.D., MSc., a former gastroenterology fellow at the U-M Medical School who is now a fellow at the Mayo Clinic.
The study was recently presented at the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
The analysis showed a 12 percent reduction in the odds of colorectal cancer among statin users, which was consistent across all of the studies represented. The studies looked at using statins for more than six months or for more than five years. According to this new analysis, both time periods were associated with a reduction in colorectal cancer risk. Importantly, when the researchers looked at the type of statin used, they found the most common category of statins (lipophilic, which includes Lipitor) showed the greatest effect.
"Observational studies have suggested that longterm use of statins is associated with reduced risk of several cancers, including breast, prostate, lung, pancreas and liver. Our findings suggest that randomized controlled trials designed to test the hypothesis that statins reduce the risk of colorectal cancer are warranted," Samadder says.
Study Links Prostate Cancer Treatment to Higher Rate of Colon CancerMen treated with hormone-based therapy for prostate cancer faced a 30 percent to 40 percent higher risk of colorectal cancer, compared to patients who did not receive this treatment, according to a new University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center study.
Vahakn B. Shahinian, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of internal medicine, U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center
Read Prostate cancer treatment linked to higher rate of colon cancer in its entirety.
The study looked at use of androgen deprivation therapy, a common type of treatment for prostate cancer that involves blocking the male hormone testosterone through either surgicalremoval of the testicles or a regular injection. It's been shown to benefit men with advanced cancers, but its benefit for less-advanced disease is unclear. Still, more than half a million men in the United States receive this therapy.
Researchers looked at data from 107,859 men aged 67 and older with prostate cancer. Results of the study appear online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The study is the first to link androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. The researchers found that the risk was highest among men who received androgen deprivation therapy the longest. Patients who had their testicles removed, a procedure called orchiectomy, had the highest rates of colorectal cancer.
Overall, the risk of colorectal cancer was still low -- less than 1 percent per year even among orchiectomy patients. But any increased risk should be carefully considered when using androgen deprivation therapy in cases when its benefit is not clear, the researchers say.
"Androgen deprivation therapy still continues to be used in situations where there are not evidence-based studies showing its benefit. When androgen deprivation therapy is clearly known to be beneficial, people should not shy away from using it. But where there's not solid evidence, this is potentially another harm," says lead study author Vahakn B. Shahinian, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of internal medicine at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. Shahinian stresses that androgen deprivation therapy can be lifesaving for certain men with prostate cancer, and those patients should not hesitate to use it. The study authors suggest that preventive care, including colorectal cancer screening, is important during prostate cancer treatment.return to the top of the page
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
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