Statins reduce development of bone metastasis in breast cancer

   Administering statins to patients with breast cancer was found significantly associated with decreased incidence of metastasis to bone, but not to other distant sites, in research performed at Albert Einstein Medical Center and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.   

   The researchers retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients treated for stage II-III breast cancer from 1999 to 2010 They evaluated the association of statin use -- defined as medication use for at least three months in patients with no evidence of disease after initial diagnosis and treatment -- and development of bony metastasis in breast cancer patients. The primary outcome of the study was the development of metastasis to bone. Secondary outcomes were overall survival, disease free survival, and other sites of distant metastasis.   

   A total of 841 patients were included in the study, of which 223 used statins. Following data analysis, both unadjusted and multivariate analysis adjusted for age, race, grade, stage, and BRCA status showed that patients on statins had a significantly lower incidence of metastasis to bone (odds ratio [OR] 0.49, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.25 to 0.96, P=0.04). The researchers also found that adjusted analysis for other sites showed a trend towards decreased incidence of metastasis for statin users, but it was not statistically significant (95% CI, 0.39 to 1.08, P=0.10). Overall survival was increased in statin users, with a mean survival of 66.45 +/- 2.48 months vs non-users (58.78 +/ -1.41 months (P=0.05). Further, statin users had significantly longer disease-free survival, with a mean of 63.65 +/-2.49 months versus 53.96 +/- 1.42 months in non statin users (P=0.00).   

    “The role of statins in chemoprevention of bone metastasis should be further explored,” the researchers concluded.