Monday, October 22, 2012
Statins may protect against esophageal cancer
Statin use is associated with protection from esophagus cancer according to a new meta-analysis of existing clinical studies exploring the cancer prevention effects of statins presented by a Mayo Clinic researcher, Dr. Siddharth Singh, at the American College of Gastroenterology 77th Annual Scientific Meeting in Las Vegas, NV.
Dr. Singh and his Mayo colleagues conducted a systematic review of eleven studies reporting 8,613 cases of esophageal cancer from studies including almost 1 million patients. Incidence of esophageal cancer is increasing in the United States, especially esophageal adenocarcinoma in patients with Barrett's esophagus.
"The meta-analysis of these studies showed a significant 30 percent reduction in esophageal cancer incidence with statins use," said Dr. Singh.
When looking more closely at the seven highest-quality observational studies among the eleven, researchers continued to find a significant chemo-protective effect with statin use. An analysis of a subset of patients with Barrett's esophagus, a pre-malignant condition associated with chronic acid reflux, revealed that, in this higher risk population, statin use was associated with a significant 41 percent decrease in the risk of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus.