Statins Do Not Improve Survival in Small Cell Lung Cancer

StatinsStatins are the cholesterol-lowering drugs. Do such drugs could be a part of cancer treatment as well? Such drugs works to lower cholesterol levels by blocking liver enzymes. It was thought that lowering cholesterol level could possibly improve the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs. According to a new study, statins when used alongside chemotherapy has no effect on lung cancer treatment. The research claims that the drugs in lowering cholesterol do not benefit lung cancer patients.

As cholesterol was believed to delay the recurrence of lung cancer after treatment has been completely. It was also thought that lowering cholesterol could impair the growth of cancer cells. But, the results of study show that there were no advantages of taking statins and no adverse effects as well.

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and is funded by Cancer Research UK. This study included 846 patients from 91 hospitals of UK. It was carried out at the Cancer Research UK & UCL Cancer Institute. Patients were given statin along their usual chemotherapy treatment. They were monitored for more than two years.  The findings of the study showed that there were no benefits at all. The study measured the effects of a statin called pravastatin in patients for treatment of lung cancer.

Michael Seckl, Professor from Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London said, “It’s becoming increasingly common for patients with increased cholesterol to take statins and many cancer patients will be or have been prescribed these drugs entirely separately from their cancer treatment.”

Professor Allan Hackshaw, Deputy Director of the Cancer Research UK & UCL Cancer Trials, said, “Our results match those of other randomised trials examining different types of cancer, but these were much smaller than our own study, and they have also shown no benefit to using statins in cancer treatment.”

The Imperial researchers plan to continue their findings of how statins work at a cellular level.

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