Statin use is not associated with improved progression free survival in cetuximab treated KRAS mutant metastatic colorectal cancer patients: results from the CAIRO2 study

PLoS One. 2014 Nov 6;9(11):e112201. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112201. eCollection 2014.


Statins may inhibit the expression of the mutant KRAS phenotype by preventing the prenylation and thus the activation of the KRAS protein. This study was aimed at retrospectively evaluating the effect of statin use on outcome in KRAS mutant metastatic colorectal cancer patients (mCRC) treated with cetuximab. Treatment data were obtained from patients who were treated with capecitabine, oxaliplatin bevacizumab ± cetuximab in the phase III CAIRO2 study. A total of 529 patients were included in this study, of whom 78 patients were on statin therapy. In patients with a KRAS wild type tumor (n = 321) the median PFS was 10.3 vs. 11.4 months for non-users compared to statin users and in patients with a KRAS mutant tumor (n = 208) this was 7.6 vs. 6.2 months, respectively. The hazard ratio (HR) for PFS for statin users was 1.12 (95% confidence interval 0.78-1.61) and was not influenced by treatment arm, KRAS mutation status or the KRAS*statin interaction. Statin use adjusted for covariates was not associated with increased PFS (HR = 1.01, 95% confidence interval 0.71-1.54). In patients with a KRAS wild type tumor the median OS for non-users compared to statin users was 22.4 vs. 19.8 months and in the KRAS mutant tumor group the OS was 18.1 vs. 14.5 months. OS was significantly shorter in statin users versus non-users (HR = 1.54; 95% confidence interval 1.06-2.22). However, statin use, adjusted for covariates was not associated with increased OS (HR = 1.41, 95% confidence interval 0.95-2.10). In conclusion, the use of statins at time of diagnosis was not associated with an improved PFS in KRAS mutant mCRC patients treated with chemotherapy and bevacizumab plus cetuximab.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Bevacizumab / administration & dosage
  • Cetuximab / administration & dosage
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras) / genetics*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • KRAS protein, human
  • Organoplatinum Compounds
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Bevacizumab
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Cetuximab

Grant support

These authors have no support or funding to report.