Publication Abstract

Authors: Lin JJ, Ezer N, Sigel K, Mhango G, Wisnivesky JP

Title: The effect of statins on survival in patients with stage IV lung cancer.

Journal: Lung Cancer 99:137-42

Date: 2016 Sep

Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Prior studies have shown an anticancer effect of statins in patients with certain malignancies. However, it is unclear whether statins have a mortality benefit in lung cancer. We compared survival of patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) receiving vs. not receiving statins prior to diagnosis. METHODS: Using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results registry linked to Medicare claims, we identified 5118 patients  >65 years of age diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC between 2007 and 2009. We used propensity score methods to assess the association of statin use with overall and lung cancer-specific survival while controlling for measured confounders. RESULTS: Overall, 27% of patients were on statins at time of lung cancer diagnosis. Median survival in the statin group was 7 months, compared to 4 months in patients not treated with statins (p<0.001). Propensity score analyses found that statin use was associated with improvement in overall (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.76, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.73-0.79) and lung cancer-specific survival (HR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.73-0.81), after controlling for baseline patient characteristics, cancer characteristics, staging work-up and chemotherapy use. CONCLUSIONS: Statin use is associated with improved survival among patients with stage IV NSCLC suggesting a potential anticancer effect. Further research should evaluate plausible biological mechanisms as well as test the effect of statins in prospective clinical trials.