Patients who take statins after prostate cancer (PC) diagnosis may have a reduced risk of mortality, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

The effect of statins on prostate cancer is complex, with laboratory evidence indicating that statins can have both pro- and anti-neoplastic effects, and previous studies yielding mixed results.

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Study researchers accessed information from nationwide Danish registries and identified 31,790 men with prostate adenocarcinoma. Postdiagnosis statin-use was defined as filling at least 2 statin prescriptions, and patients who did not take statins prior to PC diagnosis were seen as nonusers until 1 year after the second statin prescription. Researchers also assessed the effects of pre-diagnosis statin-use as well as the effect of statin-use 1 year or 5 years after PC diagnosis.

At median follow-up of 2.8 years, 23% of patients had died from prostate cancer and 37% died of other causes. Patients who received postdiagnosis statins had a 17% lower risk of mortality vs nonusers (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR], 0.83; 95% CI, 0.77-0.89), and a similar effect was seen for all-cause mortality (AHR, 081; 95% CI, 0.76-0.85). Statin-use resulted in similar effects for the 1-year and 5-year sensitivity analyses. Pre-diagnosis statin-use showed no mortality benefit.

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Patients who were diagnosed early on in the study, or who received endocrine therapy or radical prostatectomy, had a lower HR for mortality vs other patients with PC. 

The authors concluded that “additional research is needed to establish whether statins have genuine therapeutic potential in the management of PC.”


  1. Larsen SB, Dehlendorff C, Skriver C, et al. Postdiagnosis statin use and mortality in Danish patients with prostate cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2017 Aug 14. doi: 10.1200/JOC.2016.71.8981 [Epub ahead of print]