Lipophilic statins, a type of medication commonly prescribed to lower blood cholesterol, are associated with reduced mortality in patients with ovarian cancer, according to a study (https://www.abstractsonline.com/pp8/#!/9045/presentation/5297) presented on Monday, June 22, at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Annual Meeting II (https://www.aacr.org/meeting/aacr-annual-meeting-2020/aacr-virtual-annual-meeting-ii/), held online June 22-24. Ovarian cancer (https://www.aacr.org/professionals/blog/addressing-ovarian-cancers-unique-challenges/) is a rare cancer type, accounting for only about 1.2 percent of cancer cases diagnosed in the United States each year. It has a five-year survival rate of less than 50 percent, in part due to difficulty of diagnosis. “There are no proven screening strategies, so the disease is typically diagnosed at an advanced stage, when surgery is often not an option,” said Kala Visvanathan (photo), MD, MHS (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/profiles/results/directory/profile/0016415/kala-visvanathan), Professor of Epidemiology and Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore. Approximately 28% of U.S. adults over age 40 routinely take statins for cholesterol control. Dr. Visvanathan said they are widely used in other countries as well. The few smaller studies that have evaluated statins and mortality in ovarian cancer patients have shown mixed results. The large sample size of this study of more than 10,000 women with ovarian cancer allowed researchers to evaluate different statin types and their impact on different subtypes of ovarian cancer.
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