THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For women with breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or melanoma, adherence to lipid-lowering medications (LLM) is inversely linked to cancer-specific mortality, according to a study published online Oct. 20 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Jia-Li Feng, Ph.D., of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and Xiwen Qin, from Monash University, both in Australia, examined the associations between adherence to LLMs, statins, lipophilic, and hydrophilic statins and cancer-specific mortality in three cohorts of female patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and melanoma identified from 2003 to 2013 (20,046, 11,719, and 6,430 patients, respectively).

The researchers found that in the three cohorts, one-year adherence was similar at one-year prediagnosis (average, 82 percent). Among women with breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and melanoma, each 10 percent increase in one-year adherence to LLMs was inversely associated with cancer-specific mortality (fully adjusted hazard ratios [95 percent confidence intervals], 0.92 [0.91 to 0.93], 0.92 [0.91 to 0.93)], and 0.97 [0.94 to 1.00], respectively). In all three cancers, the reductions in cancer-specific mortality were more pronounced for women who adhered to lipophilic versus hydrophilic statins, although the association was not statistically significant for melanoma.

“These findings provide evidence of a potential antitumor effect and emphasize the importance of improving patients’ adherence for achieving initial mortality benefit,” the authors write. “If confirmed, clinicians could consider LLM as an adjuvant cancer therapy to improve prognosis.”

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