Another piece of information from the recent ASCO GU conference in San Francisco

Researchers have found that adding statin drugs may prolong the sensitivity of abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC)

To assess the effect of statins on abiraterone therapy, Dr Harshman, of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston, Massachusetts and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of 224 men, drawn from the institution’s database, treated with abiraterone for CRPC.

Ninety six percent (96%) of the men had metastatic disease at the time they began treatment with abiraterone; 26% had received prior treatment with docetaxel, and 7% had received prior treatment with enzalutamide (Xtandi). Almost half of the cohort (41%) also received statins.

The two cohorts were well balanced when comparing their Gleason score, local treatment, and site of metastases at the initiation of abiraterone therapy. There was a slightly higher incidence of M1 disease in men who had not received statins (20% vs 11%).

The median duration of abiraterone treatment was 10.7 months with a range of less than 1 month to 61 months. At the time of data analysis, 160 (71%) men had discontinued treatment.

They found a trend to longer treatment duration in the men receiving statins, and a similar trend was seen in docetaxel- or enzalutamide-naive men (HR, 0.75). Prior treatment with docetaxel or enzalutamide use was significantly associated with shorter abiraterone duration, probably due to the development of cross resistance.

After the authors adjusted for prior use of docetaxel, enzalutamide, and site of metastases, the relationship between statin use and abiraterone duration remained unchanged (= .18, HR, 0.81).

The mechanism underlying the seemingly positive effect of statins on abiraterone treatment is yet unclear. It would be important to gain a better understanding of the mechanism.

The study authors said, “It was a positive trend, but not statistically significant, but that is possibly due to the small numbers.”