Statin therapy is associated with improved survival in patients with non-serous-papillary epithelial ovarian cancer: a retrospective cohort analysis

PLoS One. 2014 Aug 13;9(8):e104521. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104521. eCollection 2014.


Aim: To determine whether statin use is associated with improved epithelial ovarian cancer (OvCa) survival.

Methods: This is a single-institution retrospective cohort review of patients treated for OvCa between 1992 and 2013. Inclusion criteria were International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage I-IV OvCa. The primary exposures analyzed were hyperlipidemia and statin use. The primary outcomes were progression-free survival (PFS) and disease-specific survival (DSS).

Results: 442 patients met inclusion criteria. The cohort was divided into three groups: patients with hyperlipidemia who used statins (n = 68), patients with hyperlipidemia who did not use statins (n = 28), and patients without hyperlipidemia (n = 346). OvCa outcomes were evaluated. When we analyzed the entire cohort, we found no significant differences in PFS or DSS among the groups. The median PFS for hyperlipidemics using statins, hyperlipidemics not using statins, and non-hyperlipidemics was 21.7, 13.6, and 14.7 months, respectively (p = 0.69). Median DSS for hyperlipidemics using statins, hyperlipidemics not using statins, and non-hyperlipidemics was 44.2, 75.7, and 41.5 months, respectively (p = 0.43). These findings did not change after controlling for confounders. However, a secondary analysis revealed that, among patients with non-serous-papillary subtypes of OvCa, statin use was associated with a decrease in hazards of both disease recurrence (adjusted HR = 0.23, p = 0.02) and disease-specific death (adjusted HR = 0.23, p = 0.04). To augment the findings in the retrospective cohort, the histology-specific effects of statins were also evaluated in vitro using proliferation assays. Here, statin treatment of cell lines resulted in a variable level of cytotoxicity.

Conclusion: Statin use among patients with non-serous-papillary OvCa was associated with improvement in both PFS and DSS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications*
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Lovastatin / pharmacology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / complications*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Lovastatin