Statins – No more cream for cancer

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In this issue of the European Journal of Cancer, Shao et al. and Van Rompay et al. [1,2] report that statins and, in the latter manuscript, also non-statin lipid-lowering medications appear to improve prostate cancer outcomes, both by retrospective analyses. This adds to the large body of epidemiological studies suggesting a favourable role for statins on the clinical outcomes of men with prostate cancer, but the precise nature of the anticancer effect of these drugs remains controversial. Retrospective studies have an inherent bias because all these men received the statin (or any other lipid-lowering drug) for a medical condition that may influence their prognosis or receiving a statin could be a surrogate for being under more ‘intensive’ medical care.

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