Statin Use Linked to Improved Outcome in Tough-to-Treat Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Statin use is tied to longer survival in women with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), according to the first study that was adequately powered to investigate this association.

TNBC, which lacks estrogen and progesterone receptors and excess HER2 protein, makes up roughly 10% to 20% of breast-cancer diagnoses. It’s a highly aggressive subtype and has a poor prognosis with limited treatment options.

Using two large administrative claims databases, the researchers identified more than 23,000 women over age 66 with stage-I to -III breast cancer diagnosed from 2008 to 2015. Of these, 2,281 started taking a statin within one year following their breast-cancer diagnosis and 20,911 did not.

The median follow-up was 3.3 years for breast cancer-specific survival and 4.4 years for overall survival.

Among the 1,534 women with TNBC, there was a statistically significant 58% improvement in breast-cancer-specific survival after adjustment (HR, 0.42; P=0.022) and a 30% improvement in overall survival (HR, 0.70; P=0.046) in the women who started a statin after diagnosis.

There was no association with breast-cancer-specific survival or overall survival among women without TNBC. The results were consistent when examining statin exposure as a time-varying variable.

Statins have been shown to target pathways related to breast-cancer carcinogenesis, particularly in TNBC, Dr. Kevin Nead of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, and colleagues note in their report in the journal Cancer.

“We know that statins decrease breast cancer cell division and increase cell death. Our study shows that there is an association between statins and improved outcomes in TNBC, and it is time to pursue this idea further in a prospective trial,” Dr. Nead said in a news release.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, with additional support from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) and Komen. The authors have declared no relevant conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Cancer, online August 3, 2021.

Source: Read Full Article