Some studies have suggested that statins, which have cholesterol-lowering and anti-inflammatory properties, may have antitumor effects. Effects of statins on inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) have never been studied.
We reviewed 723 patients diagnosed with primary IBC in 1995–2011 and treated at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Statin users were defined as being on statins at the initial evaluation. Based on Ahern et al‘s statin classification (JNCI, 2011), clinical outcomes were compared by statin use and type (weakly lipophilic to hydrophilic (H-statin) vs lipophilic statins (L-statin)). We used the Kaplan–Meier method to estimate the median progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS), and a Cox proportional hazards regression model to test the statistical significance of potential prognostic factors.
In the multivariable Cox model, H-statins were associated with significantly improved PFS compared with no statin (hazard ratio=0.49; 95% confidence interval=0.28–0.84; P<0.01); OS and DSS P-values were 0.80 and 0.85, respectively. For L-statins vs no statin, P-values for PFS, DSS, and OS were 0.81, 0.4, and 0.74, respectively.
H-statins were associated with significantly improved PFS. A prospective randomised study evaluating the survival benefits of statins in primary IBC is warranted.