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Statins Could Reduce Mortality in Patients With Multiple Myeloma


Statin use was associated with a reduction in all-cause and multiple myeloma-specific mortality.

A retrospective analysis of data from the Veterans Administration (VA) Central Cancer Registry has identified an association between statin use and mortality in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Specifically, statin therapy was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause and MM-specific mortality.

Of the nearly 5000 patients diagnosed with MM between 1999 and 2013, 2294 received statin therapy. Statin use was defined by the authors as the presence of any prescription of statin within 3 months before or after MM diagnosis in the patient. Patients had access to the following statins within the VA system:

  • Atorvastatin
  • Fluvastatin
  • Lovastatin
  • Pitavastatin
  • Pravastatin
  • Rosuvastatin
  • Simvastatin

Variability in dosing and potency were accounted for by calculating the daily defined dose, as is specified by the World Health Organization. The cohort was followed through October 2014; the median follow-up for statin users was 34 months and for nonstatin users, 26 months. Survival was measured from the date of MM diagnosis until the date of death, which was obtained from the VA vital status file.

Interestingly, statin use was associated with a 21% reduction in all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.79; 95% CI, 0.73-0.86; P <.001) and a 24% decrease in MM-specific mortality (adjusted HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.67-0.86; P <.001). Older age, body-mass index greater than 19.5 kg/m2, higher comorbidity score, hemoglobin less than 10 g/dL, and use of pamidronate were all associated with increased MM-specific mortality.

The authors point out, however, that misclassification of statin use within the VA registry was possible, a result of patient noncompliance. They conclude that while their results suggest an association between statin therapy and MM-specific as well as all-cause mortality in patients with MM, a prospective study would be ideal to corroborate these findings.


Sanfilippo KM, Keller J, Gage BF, et al. Statins are associated with reduced mortality in multiple myeloma. J Clin Oncol. 2016;34(33): 4008-4014. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2016.68.3482.

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