Statin drug could treat prostate cancers
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs could provide a valuable lifeline for men with advanced prostate cancer, research has shown.
Results from a new trial show that the drugs significantly increase the time it takes for the disease to stop responding to treatment.
The findings suggest patients can keep prostate cancer at bay for longer if they take statins at the same time as undergoing hormone therapy.
Of 926 patients taking part in the study, men taking statins saw their cancer progress after 27.5 months compared with 17.4 months for those not on the drugs.
Statins block a mechanism that allows the cancer to become resistant to the treatments over time, scientists say.
Dr Iain Frame, director of research at the charity Prostate Cancer UK, said: "Men can often manage advanced prostate cancer for many years by taking hormone therapy, however the treatment eventually stops working and the cancer becomes much more difficult to restrain.
"This study suggests that taking statins alongside these established treatments could be an effective way to extend the time that they can keep the cancer in check. "
Advanced prostate cancer that cannot be surgically removed can be held in check by drugs.