According to recent research, popular cholesterol-lowering medications may one day be used to treat prostate cancer.
In conjunction with androgen deprivation therapy, which decreases levels of male hormones, statins were found to slow tumor growth in a clinical trial involving 12 patients at the Beatson West Cancer Research Center in Glasgow, Scotland.
The study’s principal investigator, Hing Leung, highlighted that it was the first of its kind to demonstrate this effect of statins.
We believe they could stop prostate cancer from synthesizing androgens (sex hormones) from cholesterol, blocking the disease’s ability to fight androgen deprivation therapy, Leeng continued. When prostate cancer develops a resistance to hormone therapy, it is particularly challenging to treat. These medications might be used to provide patients with improved therapy alternatives if subsequent trials are successful.
Androgens like testosterone are necessary for prostate cancer to develop. In an effort to halt the disease, current medications lower the amounts of these hormones. It might, however, be castration resistant in some instances, which implies that it stops responding to these therapies.
The researchers treated 12 individuals whose cancer had developed resistance to that medication with atorvastatin for six to eight weeks.
Prostate-specific antigen levels, which are used to gauge tumor growth, were subsequently tested by the team, and they discovered that 11 out of 12 patients experienced a decrease in these levels while taking atorvastatin.
If statins may be used more frequently to treat prostate cancer, the researchers plan to start a larger investigation.
We are happy to have supported this study, which demonstrates positive preliminary evidence that statins may help slow the progression of prostate cancer, said Hayley Luxton, Senior Research Impact Manager for UK Prostate Cancer. To determine the ideal moment to add statins to treatment and to test this strategy on a much larger group of men, additional research is required.
John Culling, 64, who was identified as having an aggressive form of prostate cancer in 2019, has welcomed the findings.
The story of Culling, who resides in Broughty Ferry, close to Dundee, with his wife Margaret, was covered by the publication The Independent. He successfully received hormonal treatment, radiation, and chemotherapy, and is still being monitored.
The two-time father recalled: Due to my cancer’s aggressiveness, there is a significant risk that it will recur, therefore we must proceed with caution.
Culling, a former army captain, is optimistic that the research will be expanded in order to assist treat the condition more successfully in the future.