Purpose: Reports of the effect of treatment with statins on prostate cancer risk are inconsistent. We performed a pilot study to assess the effect of statin treatment on a surrogate marker for prostate cancer risk, that is serum prostate specific antigen (PSA), in a cohort of airline pilots from 1992 to 2001.
Materials and methods: Subject medical records were abstracted for data on age, PSA testing, hyperlipidemia and treatment with statins. The treatment group was composed of 15 men with hypercholesterolemia who received statins and the comparison group of 85 with normal serum lipid levels during the review period. The mean +/- SD and the Wilcoxon rank sum test were used for analyses.
Results: Serum PSA was significantly higher in the treatment group at baseline relative to the comparison group (p = 0.05). Interestingly there was no significant difference between the groups on subsequent followup. There was a 41.6% decrease in mean serum PSA in the treated group by visit 4. Simultaneously mean serum PSA increased by 38% in the untreated group.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that treatment with statins may lower serum PSA with time. These results must be confirmed in a larger study population while controlling for potential confounders. If validated, our observation provides a rationale for further studies of the role of this class of drugs for prostate cancer chemoprevention.