ASCO: Lipid-lowering agents linked to improved survival in women with endometrial cancer

June 5, 2013

Endometrial cancer patients who took statins and aspirin reduced their chance of death by 84% with the use of statins and aspirin, according to a new study by researchers at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC), presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. Additionally, women who used only statins saw their risk of dying decline by 45%.

Endometrial cancer patients reduced their chance of death by 84% with the use of statins and aspirin, according to a new study by researchers at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC), presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. Additionally, women who used only statins saw their risk of dying decline by 45%. 

A retrospective cohort study evaluated overall survival of 554 patients who had been diagnosed and treated for endometrial cancer at Montefiore Medical Center between January 2005 and December 2009. Among them, 333 were not hyperlipidemic, 165 had hyperlipidemia treated with statins, and 56 were hyperlipidemic and had not received statin therapy. In the study, women who received statin therapy had h ypertension, diabetes, and were older than those who did not.

“Antihyperlipidemic medications are extremely common medications taken by women with obesity and cardiovascular risk factors,” lead author Nicole Nevadunsky, MD, gynecologic oncologist, MECCC and assistant professor, department of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, N.Y., told Formulary.

Multivariate analysis showed endometrial cancer survivors taking statin therapy had a 45% decreased hazard of death compared to women who did not have hyperlipidemia (HR=0.55; 95% CI, 0.35-0.87). There was an 84% decreased hazard of death for survivors taking both statins and aspirin compared with other subgroups (HR=0.16; 95% CI, 0.07-0.38).

“Statin therapy may represent a low-cost, low-side effect adjuvant therapy to prevent death after diagnosis of endometrial cancer,” said Dr Nevadunsky. “Furthermore, study of the mechanisms of action of statin therapy may help development of therapies targeted at the molecular level as well as nontraditional interventions such as dietary and exercise lifestyle modifications.”

There is a close association between the development of endometrial cancer and obesity, according to Dr Nevadunsky. “Hyperlipidemia and heart disease are common comorbidities of obesity for which statin therapy is used,” she said. “Antihyperlipidemic agents have been reported to improve survival in other cancer types and decrease cancer occurrences. The investigative team was interested in assessing the effect of statin therapy on overall survival of women diagnosed and treated for endometrial cancer.”