The impact of statins in combination with androgen deprivation therapyin patients with advanced prostate cancer: A large observational study

Urol Oncol. 2019 Feb;37(2):130-137. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2018.11.017. Epub 2018 Dec 7.


Background: Statins are thought to possess antineoplastic properties related to their effect on cell proliferation and steroidogenesis. Progression to castrate resistant prostate cancer (CaP) includes de-regulation of androgen synthesis suggesting a role for statins in this setting. Our goal was to assess the role of statin use on oncologic outcomes in patients with advanced CaP being treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).

Methods: The national VA database was used to identify all men diagnosed with CaP who were treated with ADT for at least 6 months between 2000 and 2008 with follow-up through May 2016. Our cohort was stratified based on statin use of at least 6 months duration during the same time. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards analyses with inverse propensity score weighted (IPSW) adjustment were calculated to assess for primary outcomes of CaP-specific survival (CSS), overall survival (OS) and skeletal related events (SREs).

Results: A total of 87,346 patients on ADT were included in the study cohort, 53,360 patients used statins and 33,986 did not. Statin users were younger in age (median 73 vs. 76, P < 0.001), more likely to have a higher Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) >3 (3.1% vs. 2.5%, P < 0.001) and more likely to have a high grade (Gleason score 8-10) cancer (12.3% vs. 10.9%, P < 0.001). Statin users had longer OS (median 6.5 vs. 4.0 years P < 0.001) and decreased death from CaP (5-year CSS 94.0% vs. 87.3%, P < 0.001). Statin use was also associated with longer time to a SRE (median 5.9 vs. 3.7 years, P < 0.001). On multivariable Cox proportional hazards analysis with inverse propensity score weighted, statin use was an independent predictor of improved OS (hazard ratio [HR] 0.66, confidence interval [CI] 0.63-0.68; P < 0.001), CSS (HR 0.56, 95% CI 0.53-0.60; P < 0.001), and SREs (HR 0.64, 95%CI 0.59-0.71; P < 0.001) when controlling for age, race, Charlson comorbidity index, prostate-specific antigen, and Gleason score.

Conclusion: The use of statins in men on ADT for CaP is associated with improved CSS and OS. Statins are inexpensive, well-tolerated medications that offer a promising adjunct to ADT, but require further prospective studies.

Keywords: Gonadotropin-releasing hormone/analogs and derivatives; Hospitals; Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors; Prostatic neoplasms; Veterans.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Androgen Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Survival Rate


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors