Statins in clinical trials for advanced forms of prostate cancer

An editorial  by Freeman and Solomon (“Statin drugs and prostate cancer: time to consider proactive strategies in patients“) in the April issue of the Journal of Urology has proposed the idea of combining abiraterone acetate with a statin as a method to treat men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Unfortunately the full text of this article is only available to subscribers to the Journal of Urology, and (as an editorial) there is not even an abstract available to non-subscribers.

The premise behind the suggestion is that statins control cholesterol levels and CYP17A inhibitors like abiraterone acetate act on the secondary androgens that are derived from cholesterol mateabolism. In other words, if the patients’ cholesterol levels are lowered there may be lower concentration of secondary androgens and therefore a drug like abiraterone acetate may have greater efficacy in patients responding to a statin.

Freeman and Solomon propose this concept as just one way to see whether we can learn more about the practical applications of statins in the clinical management of prostate cancer (as opposed to the more simplistic use of statins to lower risk of prostate cancer in general or more advanced forms of prostate cancer in particular).

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