Statins May Not Prevent Cancers

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Several major studies have shownthat the cholesterol-lowering drugsknown as statins, once thought to bebeneficial in preventing certain cancers,actually have little or no effect.Previous studies had shown statins tobe effective in reducing the risk of colorectalcancer by 47%, and a 10%decrease in instances of melanoma inpatients taking statins. New studies,however, showed that the older studies"had a lot of methodologicalflaws,"according to researchers.

One study looked at 27 trials ofstatins, for a total of ~87,000 participants,and found no reduced incidenceof colorectal and other cancersin people taking the drugs, comparedwith those not taking them. Anotherstudy produced similar findings in132,136 participants in the CancerPrevention Study II Nutritional Cohort.

A third study looked at data from16 high-quality studies that included62,197 people who had beenexamined for melanomas. Althoughthe instance of decreased risk ofmelanoma was present in thosetaking statins, compared with thosewho were not, researchers insistthat they should not be relied uponas preventive agents for cancer.