Repurposing Statins for Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

A study presented at the 47th Society of Gynecologic Oncology meeting held in San Diego, found that women with ovarian cancer who received statin therapy in tandem with their cancer treatment had better survival.

A study presented at the 47th Society of Gynecologic Oncology meeting held in San Diego, found that women with ovarian cancer who received statin therapy in tandem with their cancer treatment had better survival.

An analysis of Medicare claims data, found that statin use resulted in a 34% reduction in survival hazard among 1510 Medicare-age women (P < .0001), specifically in those who were treated with lipophilic statin agents. At moderate to high doses.

For this study, the authors used Medicare-linked data from the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program for newly diagnosed epithelial ovarian cancer during 2007 to 2009. Statin use was defined by an existing prescription at the time of surgery or a new prescription after surgery. The data showed that 636 of the 1,510 patients qualified as statin users during the study period. The statin of choice was a lipophilic agent in 88.7% of cases -- atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor), or simvastatin (Zocor). Dosage was moderate in 70.4% of statin users and high in 15.3%.

According to the report in Medpage Today, statin users had a median overall survival (OS) of 32.2 months versus 28.7 months for non-users (P < .001). Patients with stage III disease had a greater survival benefit with statin use (31.7 versus 25.9 months, P < .001). The statin benefit applied to patients with serous (HR 0.69, 95% CI, 0.55-0.87, P = .002) and nonserous tumors (OR 0.33-0.82, P = .005).

Moderate-dose therapy was associated with a 40% reduction in the survival hazard (P < .0001) and high-dose therapy with a 33% reduction (P = .04). Patients on low-dose statin therapy had survival similar to that of nonusers.