Post-Diagnosis Statin Use and Survival Among Patients with Cancer

Hanbing Guo | 2023

Advisor: Christopher I-Fu Li

Research Area(s): Cancer Epidemiology, Pharmaco-epidemiology

Full Text

Statins are widely used cholesterol-lowering medications. Evidence from preclinical and observational studies suggest that statins use may improve cancer survival in patients with cancer, while findings from clinical trials have been mixed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between post-diagnosis statin use and cancer outcomes in seven common cancers. In this retrospective cohort study, we identified all individuals aged 66 years or older who were newly diagnosed with breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer or non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) from 2008 through 2017 from the linked SEER-Medicare database. Statin use was assessed based on prescription fills from the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Event data. We used multivariable Cox regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association of post-diagnosis statin use with cancer-specific mortality for all seven cancers and with cancer recurrence for breast cancer. Statin use post-diagnosis was associated with a reduction in cancer-specific mortality risk in breast cancer (HR=0.85, 95% CI: 0.75–0.96), lung cancer (HR=0.81, 95% CI: 0.74–0.88) and pancreatic cancer (HR=0.72, 95% CI: 0.59–0.87). No significant association with risk of breast cancer recurrence, or with risk of cancer-specific mortality in prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, or NHL was observed. We found evidence that suggests enhanced cancer survival associated with statin use after cancer diagnosis in patients with breast cancer, lung cancer and pancreatic cancer. These findings should be confirmed in large randomized trials of statins in patients with these cancers.