Statin treatment and outcomes of metastatic pancreatic cancer: a pooled analysis of two phase III studies

Clin Transl Oncol. 2019 Jun;21(6):810-816. doi: 10.1007/s12094-018-1992-3. Epub 2018 Nov 21.


Background: The current analysis aims to evaluate the impact of statin co-treatment on the survival of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Methods: This is a pooled analysis of de-identified patient data from two clinical trials (NCT01124786; NCT00844649). Overall and progression-free survival according to patient subsets (patients who received or who did not receive statins) were assessed through Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank test. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis was performed to evaluate different factors potentially affecting overall and progression-free survival. Propensity score matching was performed to address heterogeneity in baseline characteristics of different subgroups of patients.

Results: A total of 797 patients were assessed in the current study; of which 156 patients received statins and 641 did not receive statins. Using Kaplan-Meier survival estimates, patients who received statins seem to have better overall and progression-free survival compared to patients who did not (P = 0.008; P < 0.001, respectively). In multivariate analysis for factors affecting overall survival, the following factors were associated with worse overall survival: worse performance status (P < 0.001), no statin use (P = 0.044) and multiple sites of metastatic disease (P = 0.023); likewise in multivariate analysis for factors affecting progression-free survival, the following factors were associated with worse progression-free survival: worse performance status (P < 0.001), gemcitabine elaidate chemotherapy (P = 0.015) and no statin use (P = 0.048). Following propensity score matching and using Kaplan-Meier estimates, statin use was also associated with better overall and progression-free survival (P = 0.005; P = 0.040, respectively).

Conclusion: Statin use seems to be associated with better overall survival among patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer treated with first-line chemotherapy. Prospective studies designed specifically to assess this potential effect of statins are needed.

Keywords: Chemotherapy; Metastatic pancreatic cancer; Outcomes; Statins.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors