05/03/2010 - News

Statins Do Not Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk

By: June Chen, MD


Although some studies have suggested a possible benefit for statin therapy in reducing the risk of a colorectal cancer in some individuals, a new study published online in the journal Cancer Prevention Research adds to the growing body of evidence that finds statins to not be protective against colorectal cancer.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and their colleagues studied data from the Adenoma Prevention with Celecoxib (APC) trial, which was designed to evaluate whether or not the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib could be used to prevent colorectal cancer. Approximately one-third of the 2035 patients in the APC trial were also taking statins, medications used to lower cholesterol. The researchers found that statins failed to protect patients against colorectal adenomas, benign tumors that are considered to be precursors of colorectal cancer. In fact, statin therapy may actually increase the risk of developing colorectal adenomas in people who use them for at least 3 years.

Although the findings of this study suggest that statin therapy might be associated with increased colorectal cancer risk, the authors of the study caution that this potential increase requires further study. At this point, this preliminary finding should not be considered a reason for people who are taking statins for their cardiovascular health to stop taking them.



Cancer Prev Res. Published online 19 April 2010.


Created on: 05/03/2010
Reviewed on: 05/03/2010

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