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Statins May Protect Against Kidney Cancer

Risk of renal cell carcinoma reduced by 48 percent in statin users

TUESDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Statins appear to be protective against the development of renal cell carcinoma, adding to the growing body of literature of statins' anti-tumor effects in a variety of cancers, according to an article published in Urology in January.

Vikas Khurana, M.D., of the Overton Brooks Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Shreveport, La., and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data from a Veterans Affairs database involving 483,733 mostly male veterans from eight south-central states in order to investigate the association between statin use and renal cell carcinoma. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to adjust for confounding factors including age, sex, body mass index and smoking.

Of the study population, 164,441 patients (34 percent) were taking statins prior to being diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, and 1,446 individuals (0.3 percent) had a primary diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma. Statin use was associated with a reduced risk of developing renal cell carcinoma (adjusted odds ratio 0.52) compared to non-users. Furthermore, this protective effect of statins was seen regardless of age, obesity and smoking status.

"The use of statins as anti-cancer agents is based on pre-clinical evidence of their anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic, anti-invasive and radiosensitizing properties," write the authors. "Well-designed, randomized, prospective, double-blind clinical trials with an untreated control group are necessary to validate the value of statins in renal cell carcinoma prevention and treatment."

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