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31 October 2007
Cholesterol Lowering Drugs Appear To Aid Prostate Treatment
by George Atkinson

Men with prostate cancer who receive high-dose radiation treatment and also take statin drugs (used to lower cholesterol) have a 10 percent higher chance of being cured of their cancer at 10 years after diagnosis, compared to men who don't take such medications. The results of the study were presented recently at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology's 49th Annual Meeting.

Statins are drugs used to lower the cholesterol level in people with or at risk of cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, the study demonstrated that the greatest benefit of statin medications was observed in patients who had more aggressive or advanced forms of prostate cancer. The research also showed that men who took statins during high-dose radiation therapy had a lower rate of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body.

"We were, indeed, surprised by the findings that statins used by these patients for other conditions was shown to improve the effectiveness of radiation treatment in killing prostate cancer cells," said study author Michael J. Zelefsky. "The use of statins during radiation may also be effective in the treatment of other types of cancer. However, more studies are necessary to explore the association between statins and radiation treatment in curing cancers."

Related articles:
Three Prostate Cancer Treatments Compared
Radiation Therapy Scaring Off Prostate Cancer Patients

Source: American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology

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