A new meta-analysis has (once again) demonstrated that statin therapy does not appear to be associated with a survival benefit in men who have received first-line treatment for prostate cancer with surgery or radiation therapy.
The core data from the new paper are as follows:
- The meta-analysis was based on data from eight primary studies.
- Five of the primary studies were based on radical prostatectomy (RP) patient series
- Three were based on radiotherapy (RT) patient series.
- The eight studies included 2,812 statin users and 10,031 statin non-users.
- Pooled estimates of the hazard ratios (HRs) for the risk of biochemical recurrence in statin users vs. statin non-users were
- 0.91 for the whole set of all eight studies
- 1.02 for the RP series
- 0.71 for the RT series
However, there was distinct evidence of heterogeneity
- Across the whole set of eight studies (P = 0.002)
- Within the RP series (P = 0.05)
- Within the RT series (P = 0.01)
What’s the bottom line?
Well it certainly looks as though we are going to need a series of carefully conducted, 20-year-long, randomized, double-blind trials to really discover whether taking a statin affects survival after initial treatment for prostate cancer. … And what do think the chances of that happening are in our currently depleted economy? (That is not, we hasten to add, any sort of snide political comment.)