Could Statin Drugs' Off Label Use Reduce Cancer Deaths?

New Study Suggests Statins Could Reduce Cancer Deaths

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine today reports that statins, the cholesterol reducing medicines in Lipitor and Crestor, may actually reduce death rates from cancer. Danish researchers at Copenhagen University Hospital cite that in a study of over 300,000 Danish cancer patients, the estimated 20,000 who had taken statins saw a 15 to 20 percent reduction in cancer deaths.

To keep this in perspective, chemotherapy, the dominant accepted form of cancer treatment also reduces cancer deaths by 15 to 20 percent.  Could taking statins produce the same end result as undergoing months of painful, uncomfortable, nauseating chemotherapy?

Researchers predict it is too early to tell if statin drugs could be a viable alternative or compliment to chemotherapy teatment in patients.  But as exciting as these findings are, they only inspire more questions.

Cancer Rates are on the Rise- Could Statins Lower These Rates

The promise that statins could hold is especially exciting since cancer rates have been on the rise.  Recent pharmaceutical drugs' side effects have raised the cancer rates in America and abroad to include thousands of new cases.

One such example is the prescription drug Actos, which was prescribed as a treatment for type 2 diabetes.  The FDA warned that after using this drug for a year or longer, patients had a 40% increased risk of developing bladder cancer.  Thousands of patients have come forward, complaining to the FDA and filing suit against the manufacturer for these injuries.

If statin drugs could produce the same 15 to 20 percent reduction on a larger scale, cancer patients everywhere could have yet another weapon in their arsenal to try and extend their life. Until there are clinical trials to show indisputable scientific evidence of this effectiveness, we shall all just wait and see. 

If you try new untested treatments and face injuries, you should seek medical help.  But if these off label treatments were suggested to you by your doctor or promoted by the pharmaceutical manufacturers, you should also seek the advice of a skilled product liability lawyer.