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Great news: Using statin drugs can halt the progression of your prostate cancer

by , 15 May 2015

When it comes to heart disease, the go-to drug is, without a doubt, statins.

Now it could be the go-to for prostate cancer sufferers too.

According to a study published in JAMA Oncology, for men undergoing androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer, the disease progresses less quickly if they're also using cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

While previous research has suggested a possible link between statin use and improved outcomes for prostate cancer, conclusions were never drawn. But now, this new study, by researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts in the US, has come to some solid findings…

Read on, men (statin users and non-users). This is interesting!

New study finds a strong link between statin drug use and delayed progression of prostate cancer

Previous research has never been able to confirm the link between statin use and prostate cancer progression. This has been largely due to a lack of data on prostate cancer outcome as a result of combining ADT with statins. ( ADTis the “cornerstone” treatment for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer.)
But researchers behind this new study at hand have done further investigating. 
And they’re very excited by what they’ve found.
They began by investigating a transporter gene that allows various drugs and hormones to enter cells. They specifically focused on the SLCO1B1 gene. Testosterone precursor dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEAS) and statins both use this gene to enter cells.
The research team wanted to find out whether statins would interfere with the ability of DHEAS to penetrate cells. And, if so, whether it could delay resistance to ADT. To do this, researchers analysed statin use in 926 patients who initiated ADT for prostate cancer between 1996 and 2013.
Here’s what they found…
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Taking statins can delay prostate cancer progression by months!

Researchers found that 31% of participants were taking a statin when they began ADT. After six years, the disease progressed in 70% of the patients.
Researchers then compared the median disease progression times of patients who had been taking statins with patient who hadn’t been. They found that the median time to disease progression among statin users was longer at 27.5 months than it was for non-users at 17.4 months.
As the study authors explain: “Our in vitro finding that statins competitively reduce DHEAS uptake, thus effectively decreasing the available intratumoural and androgen pool, affords a plausible mechanism to support the clinical observation of prolonged time to progression in statin users.”
In a related editorial, Dr Jorge D Ramos and Dr Evan Y Yu of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle write: “The study is a compelling argument for a biologic mechanism of action of statins in advanced prostate cancer through competitive inhibition of the update of DHEAS via SLCO1B1-encoded transporters.”
However, Ramos and Yu point out that the randomised, prospective validation of the clinical benefits of statin use in advanced prostate cancer is necessary to confirm the findings.
The new study definitely provides a framework for future evaluation. However, Ramos and Yu say that current data isn’t sufficient to support incorporation of statin use into clinical oncology practice for patients with prostate cancer and additional studies are required.
Intrigued by the impact statins can have on your health after reading this? Go here for some additional reading.
Editor’s Note: Are you ready to find out the root of all cancers? In the April 2015 issue of the Natural Health Dossier, we let you in on this secret. To access this issue and others, join Natural Health Dossier today. It’s quick and easy!

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