A new study presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago has suggested that some statins could help reduce the risk of earlier deaths from breast cancer.

Saturday 3 June 2017      Research
Statins could prevent earlier deaths from breast cancer

The meta-analysis studied 7 articles in total, finding that the use of any statins reduced risk of death from breast cancer by 27% (and death from any cause by 28%), but concluding that the benefits varied by statin type and follow-up time.

Where possible, the authors went on to extracted information on the types of statins used, splitting their investigation into lipophilic and hydrophilic statins. They found that lipophilic statins reduced risk of breast cancer death (and death by any cause) by 43%. However, hydrophilic statins were only protective against death from any cause (21% reduction), and no significant effect on breast cancer survival was found.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“This study adds to the emerging picture that some statins could be useful for treating breast cancer, but we would need to see clinical trials to answer this question definitively.

“Despite advances in treatment, some breast cancers still find ways to become resistant to drugs and continue growing. To stop people dying from the disease, we need to block all of breast cancer’s escape routes – and some statins could yet prove a valuable addition to existing treatments to help do this.

“While this research suggests some benefit of lipophilic statins in preventing earlier deaths from breast cancer, their effect in the long-term remains unclear and further investigation of the risks and benefits is now needed.

“If any patients would like to discuss the benefits and risks of their current treatments, or enquire about any others, we’d encourage them to speak to their oncologist or GP.”