Endometrial cancer patients reduced their chance of death by 84% with the use of statins and aspirin, according to a new study by researchers at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC) that was presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. In addition, women in the study who used only statins saw their risk of dying decline by 45%.
A retrospective cohort study evaluated overall survival of 554 patients who had been diagnosed and treated for endometrial cancer at Montefiore Medical Center between January 2005 and December 2009. Among them, 333 were not hyperlipidemic, 165 had hyperlipidemia treated with statins, and 56 were hyperlipidemic and had not received statin therapy. In the study, women who received statin therapy had hypertension, diabetes, and were older than those who did not.
“Antihyperlipidemic medications are extremely common medications taken by women with obesity and cardiovascular risk factors,” said lead author Nicole Nevadunsky, MD, a gynecologic oncologist at MECCC and an assistant professor in the department of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health of Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York.
Multivariate analysis showed that endometrial cancer survivors who received statin therapy had a 45% decreased hazard of death compared with women who did not have hyperlipidemia (HR=0.55; 95% CI, 0.35-0.87). There was an 84% decreased hazard of death for survivors taking both statins and aspirin compared with other subgroups (HR=0.16; 95% CI, 0.07-0.38).
“Statin therapy may represent a low-cost, low-side-effect adjuvant therapy to prevent death after diagnosis of endometrial cancer,” Dr. Nevadunsky told Formulary, a sister publication to Contemporary OB/GYN. “Furthermore, study of the mechanisms of action of statin therapy may help development of therapies targeted at the molecular level as well as nontraditional interventions such as dietary and exercise lifestyle modifications.”
There is a close association between the development of endometrial cancer and obesity, according to Dr. Nevadunsky. “Hyperlipidemia and heart disease are common comorbidities of obesity for which statin therapy is used,” she said. “Antihyperlipidemic agents have been reported to improve survival in other cancer types and decrease cancer occurrences. The investigative team was interested in assessing the effect of statin therapy on overall survival of women diagnosed and treated for endometrial cancer.”
Spoozak LA, Girda E, Van Arsdale A, Einstein MH, Goldberg GL, Nevadunsky N. Statin use in uterine malignancies. J Clin Oncol. 2013;31 (suppl; abstr 5592)