“ADT is the first-line of treatment for advanced prostate cancer, but response and duration of response varies widely between patients. Understanding mechanisms of resistance is key to better understanding how to control this disease and to delay progression to castration-resistant disease (CRPC),” Dr. Harshman told Cancer Therapy Advisor.

There is some controversy about whether statins help in prostate cancer. There have been mixed results from the epidemiological studies, although they have generally shown a positive correlation between statin use and improved prostate cancer outcomes.

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Brent Hollenbeck, MD, who is an associate professor in the department of urology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, said the new findings are intriguing but will need to be validated in prospective studies.

“There is a fair bit of epidemiological evidence that statins are associated with delays in progression. This is a clinical trial that essentially supports prior observational studies,” Dr. Hollenbeck told Cancer Therapy Advisor.

Sam Chang, MD, who is a urologic surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN, said these new data are important because they are the first that describe and confirm a possible mechanism between statins and the delay of disease progression.

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“It is definitely intriguing and as statin use is widespread with long-term safe usage for many patients, it represents a safe possible additive therapeutic agent,” Dr. Chang told Cancer Therapy Advisor.

“The most important message for oncologists from this study is that statin intake may slow the progression of prostate cancer, and this current study is definitely hypothesis generating.” 

Currently, there more than ten prospective trials underway analyzing the role of statins as anticancer therapies in prostate cancer.


  1. Harshman LC, Xiaodong W, Nakabayashi M, et al. Statin use at the time of initiation of androgen deprivation therapy and time to progression in patients with hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. JAMA Oncol. May 7, 2015. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.0829.