A common question we get at the pcre is: do statins, have anti cancer activity and buy statins, we mean cholesterol, pills like lipitor, Crestor or private call lie below the general feeling is that they do have anti cancer activity and what would be the basis for that? Well, we know that dietary restriction, particularly vegetarian diets, inhibits growth rates of prostate cancer. The statin drugs sort of mimic, a diet, lowering cholesterol levels is what happens when people go on a vegetarian diet.
Cholesterol is also a precursor to testosterone.
Cholesterol is a basic building block and the cell walls of new cells, so by depriving the cancer cells of LDL cholesterol, you are inhibiting cancer growth.
So this is all theory, but in practicality, is there any science to establish that this as a fact? Well, the scientific studies, aren’t prospective studies the highest quality, but there are a number of retrospective studies looking at databases that show better outcomes for people that are taking statins compared to those that aren’t.
For example, people that are in the Azur category have high risk prostate cancer and undergo radiation.
Cure rates are better and the people that are taking statins compared to those that aren’t.
Of course, there are a lot of other established benefits from statins, such as reduce heart attacks, strokes, a possibly a reduction in the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, and these medicines are very tolerable.
For the most part, probably more than 90 of people can take them without any noticeable side effects whatsoever.
The 10 that do can be detected early.
The treatment stopped before any lasting harm occurs. So if you start on a cholesterol drug, what’s the target? The bad cholesterol, the LDL cholesterol, is normally 190 world.
The doctors recommend reducing LDL to about 60 in people that have had a previous heart attack, and I think that’s a reasonable goal for someone who’s, starting on a statin drug, to try and improve the overall profile and possibly obtain an anti cancer Effect so, in summary, the evidence is there that statin drugs have a modest anti cancer effect.
Certainly not everyone with prostate cancer needs to be taking a statin.
Some people have early forms of prostate cancer that are essentially harmless and to get all riled up and go out a lot of medicines.
Doesn’t make any sense merely from a cancer point of view, but for people with more advanced, prostate cancers.
It makes a lot of sense to take a medicine that’s very unlikely, to have side effects and might have a genuine benefit.