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Statin therapy is associated with improved response to chemoradiation in rectal cancer

Statin therapy is associated with improved pathologic response to neoadjuvant chemoradiation in rectal cancer, reports the most recent issue of the Diseases of the Colon & Rectum.

News image

Achieving a pathologic complete response to neoadjuvant chemoradiation improves prognosis in rectal cancer.

Statin therapy has been shown to enhance the impact of treatment in several malignancies, but little is known regarding the impact on rectal cancer response to neoadjuvant chemoradiation.

Dr Adam Mace and colleagues determined whether statin use during neoadjuvant chemoradiation improves pathologic response in rectal cancer.

The research team performed a retrospective cohort study based on data from a prospectively maintained colorectal cancer database.

24% took a statin throughout the entire course of neoadjuvant therapy
Diseases of the Colon & Rectum

The 2 cohorts were defined by statin use during neoadjuvant chemoradiation.

The researchers evaluated 407 patients with primary rectal adenocarcinoma who underwent neoadjuvant therapy then proctectomy between 2000 and 2012.

The team found that 24% of patients took a statin throughout the entire course of neoadjuvant therapy.

The researchers' primary outcome measure was pathologic response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy as defined by the American Joint Committee on Cancer tumor regression grading system, grades 0 to 3.

Patients in the statin cohort had a lower median regression grade, and were more likely to have a better response than those not taking a statin.

The researchers observed that statin use remained a significant predictor of an American Joint Committee on Cancer grade 0 to 1 in multivariate analyses.

Although statin use itself did not significantly improve oncologic outcomes, an American Joint Committee on Cancer grade 0 to 1 response was associated with statistically significant improvements in overall survival, disease-free survival, cancer-specific mortality, and local recurrence.

Dr Mace's team commented, "Statin therapy is associated with an improved response of rectal cancer to neoadjuvant chemoradiation."

"These data provide the foundation for a prospective clinical trial."

Dis Colon Rectum 2013: 56(11): 12171227
06 November 2013

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