Study: Statins do not reduce incidence of prostate, other cancers

January 19, 2006

Contrary to previous reports, statins do not appear to reduce the incidence of cancer or cancer deaths, according to a meta-analysis of previous studies (JAMA 2006; 295:74-80). The finding held true for a range of cancers, including prostate cancer.

Contrary to previous reports, statins do not appear to reduce the incidence of cancer or cancer deaths, according to a meta-analysis of previous studies (JAMA 2006; 295:74-80). The finding held true for a range of cancers, including prostate cancer.

C. Michael White, PharmD, of the University of Connecticut and Hartford (CT) Hospital, and colleagues, conducted a search of the medical literature from 1966 through July 2005 to identify randomized controlled trials of statins. They found 27 articles that met their criteria for inclusion, reporting 26 randomized controlled trials of statins with data on either cancer incidence or cancer death. Nearly 87,000 participants were included in the meta-analysis.

"Statins have a neutral effect on cancer and cancer death risks in randomized controlled trials," the authors wrote. "No reductions were noted for cancers of the breast, colon, gastrointestinal tract, prostate, respiratory tract, or skin (melanoma) when statins were used."