May 1, 2015 2:21:55 pm
Prolonged use of statins, a cholesterol-lowering drug, may lower risk of death from lung cancer, new research has found.
The researchers found that lung cancer patients who used statins in the year prior to a lung cancer diagnosis or after a lung cancer diagnosis had a reduction in the risk of death from the disease.
“Our study provides some evidence that lung cancer patients who used statins had a reduction in the risk of death from lung cancer,” said study author Chris Cardwell, senior lecturer at the Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland.
Recently there has been much interest in the potential for exploring new therapeutic uses for existing drugs, in part, because existing medications are relatively inexpensive and have known side effect profiles, Cardwell noted.
The researchers used data from nearly 14,000 patients newly diagnosed with lung cancer between 1998 and 2009 from English cancer registry data.
Among patients who survived at least six months after a diagnosis, those who used statins after a lung cancer diagnosis had a statistically insignificant 11 percent reduction in lung cancer-specific deaths.
Among those who used at least 12 prescriptions of statins there was a statistically significant 19 percent reduction in lung cancer-specific deaths.
Among all patients in the study, those who used statins in the year before a lung cancer diagnosis had a statistically significant 12 percent reduction in lung cancer-specific deaths.
The study appeared in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
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