(HealthDay News) — Current statin use is inversely associated with the risk for lethal prostate cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 21 in Clinical Cancer Research.

Emma H. Allott, Ph.D., from Queen’s University Belfast in the United Kingdom, and colleagues prospectively examined statin use and lethal prostate cancer risk in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Data were included for 44,126 men who were cancer-free in 1990 and were followed for prostate cancer incidence through 2014; statin use was recorded biennially.

The researchers found that 6,305 prostate cancers were diagnosed during 24 years of follow-up and 13 percent were lethal (metastatic at diagnosis or metastatic/fatal during follow-up). Current statin use was inversely linked to risk for lethal prostate cancer relative to never/past use (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.60 to 0.96), but it was not linked to overall disease. There was a strong inverse association for PTEN-null cancers (hazard ratio, 0.40; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.19 to 0.87) but not for PTEN-intact cancers (hazard ratio, 1.18; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.95 to 1.48). In normal prostates of ever and never users of statins, inflammation and immune pathways were enriched in 10 and 103 patients, respectively.

“If confirmed, our findings provide support for a potential causal effect of statins on lethal prostate cancer risk and could help to inform the selection of appropriate biomarkers for use in statin clinical trials,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)