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No Adverse Effect of Statins Seen on Lymphoma Outcomes

Statin use not found to adversely affect outcomes in patients treated with rituximab

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Statins have no effect on outcomes in patients with B-cell lymphoma treated with rituximab, but improve event-free survival in patients with follicular lymphoma regardless of rituximab treatment, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Noting that statins can block the binding of rituximab to its target, Grzegorz S. Nowakowski, M.D., and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., examined the impact of statin use on rituximab efficacy in 228 patients with newly diagnosed, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (21 percent taking statins) and in 293 patients with follicular lymphoma (19 percent taking statins). All diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients and 39 percent of follicular lymphoma patients were initially treated with rituximab.

After a median follow-up of 47 months, the researchers found that statin use had no significant impact on overall response, overall survival, or event-free survival in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (hazard ratio, 0.85). Statins improved event-free survival in patients with follicular lymphoma (hazard ratio, 0.45), including patients treated with rituximab (hazard ratio, 0.38) and untreated patients (hazard ratio, 0.38).

"The concurrent use of statins during the treatment of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma in the rituximab era did not adversely affect outcome," Nowakowski and colleagues conclude.

One author reported a financial and consulting relationship with Genentech.

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