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Evidence Suggests Statin Use May Influence Renal Cell Carcinoma Survival Rates

San Diego, CA, May 7, 2013- Statin use is associated with a reduced risk of progression following surgery for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), according to a new study at the 108th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). The study will be presented to reporters during a special press conference at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA on Tuesday, May 7 at 9:30 a.m. 

Statins are cholesterol-lowering agents with anti-inflammatory and apoptotic (cell self-destruction) properties, and previous research has demonstrated they may lower the risk of developing some cancers. Given the incidence of RCC is increasing and statins are showing a favorable effect on cancer risk, researchers sought to evaluate the impact statin use may have on survival following surgery for RCC.

Researchers performed a retrospective cohort study of more than 900 patients who underwent a radical or partial nephrectomy for RCC between 1995 and 2010.  

Median follow-up of the entire cohort was 42.9 months with results indicating an association between statin use and improved overall (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS). Specific results include:

  • For statin users, the three-year DSS was 90 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 86-93 percent) while the DSS for non-statin users was 83 percent (95 percent confidence interval, 80-86 percent)
  • After controlling for other factors, the use of statins remained independently associated with both improved OS (hazard ratio 0.60, 95 percent confidence interval 0.42-0.86; p=0.005) and DSS (hazard ratio 0.48, 95 percent confidence interval 0.28-0.81; p=0.007)

“This retrospective study suggests those taking statins may have a higher survival rate following surgery for RCC,” said Scott Eggener, MD, Associate Professor, Urologic Oncology, University of Chicago. “Given that one in four Americans over 45 years of age take a statin and RCC occurs most often in men ages 50 – 70, it may be prudent to prospectively evaluate if statins protect against progression after RCC treatment.”

NOTE TO REPORTERS: Experts are available to discuss this study outside normal briefing times. To arrange an interview with an expert, please contact the AUA Communications Office at the number above or e-mail

About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 19,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.

Christine Frey, AUA