Recent articles, reviews, reports and research relating to supplements and drugs other than those used in immunotherapy, hormonal therapy, radiopharaceuticals and chemotherapy

Prophylactic effect of statins. In a Renal & Urology News article dated 15 September 2014, Jody A Charnow reports an updated meta-analysis that confirms a potential beneficial effect of statins on prostate cancer patients treated with radiotherapy. The article can be read here or here: On a related subject - lipids - in a separate Renal&Urology News article, Charnow reports a small retrospective study undertaken by Emma H Allott et al. Those researchers studied the relationship between lipid levels and biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy. Charnow reports that the researchers found that patients who had abnormally high triglyceride levels had an increased risk of recurrence. He also reports that for patients with dyslipidemia, higher risk of recurrence was associated with higher cholesterol levels, and lower risk of recurrence was associated with HDL levels. That article is dated 15 October 2014. It can be read here or here:
Metformin use decreases risk of prostate cancer diagnosis. This is a large retrospective study by Mark A Preston et al and is summarised in a web article reported here or here: by Jody A Charnow who writes: “In a study of 12,226 men diagnosed with PCa and 122,260 population controls, Mark A. Preston, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues found that men who used metformin had a significant 16% decreased risk of a PCa diagnosis in adjusted analyses compared with non-users. Among men who had undergone PSA testing in the previous year, metformin use was associated with a significant 34% decreased risk of a PCa diagnosis.” Reported online in the Renal & urology News, 12 June 2014

Baseline Selenium Status and Effects of Selenium and Vitamin E Supplementation on Prostate Cancer Risk
. Article by Alan Kristal et al dated 2014. Conclusion: “Selenium supplementation did not benefit men with low selenium status but increased the risk of high-grade PCa among men with high selenium status. Vitamin E increased the risk of PCa among men with low selenium status. Men should avoid selenium or vitamin E supplementation at doses that exceed recommended dietary intakes.” Read the article here or here:

Impact of Statin Use on Biochemical Recurrence in Patients Treated With Radical Prostatectomy. Article by M Reinen et al - Medscape Urology article 2014. Read the web article here.

Postoperative statin use and risk of biochemical recurrence following radical prostatectomy. Article by Emma H. Allott et al dated 8 May 2014. Conclusion: “In this retrospective cohort of men undergoing RP (radical prostatectomy), post-RP statin use was significantly associated with reduced risk of BCR (biological cancer recurrence)." Read the article here or here:

Metformin-Statin Combo Cuts PCa Recurrence Rate. Article by Cho Stephen Cho dated 18 may 2014. Conclusion: “Diabetic prostate cancer (PCa) patients who take both metformin and a statin may lower their risk of biochemical recurrence (BCR) after radical prostatectomy...” Read the article here or here:

Statins reduce mortality risk. Article by Robert Phillips dated 19 November 2013. Conclusion: “The latest, and the largest, study to date on the effects of statin use on outcomes for patients with prostate cancer shows reductions in the risk of cancer-specific and all-cause mortality.” Read the article here or here:

Selenium and vitamin E may increase prostate cancer risk. In a MedScape Urology article dated 26 February 2014, Nick Mulcahy reports new data analysis from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT). He states: "New data from ... (SELECT), which sought to determine whether these supplements could protect against the development of prostate cancer, confirm that both antioxidants can be risky business for men. As previously reported, men receive no preventive benefit from either selenium or vitamin E supplements; in fact, for certain men, these supplements actually increased the risk for prostate cancer. The new study, published online February 22 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, explored which men who take these supplements are most at risk for prostate cancer, and why. However, the ongoing public health message from the trial remains the same, said a trial investigator. 'Men using these supplements should stop, period. Neither selenium nor vitamin E supplementation confer any known [health] benefits — only risks,' said lead author Alan Kristal, DrPH, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, in a press statement." The full article can be read here or here:

Lycopene intake linked to lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer. In Volume 106 Issue 2 of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is reported a large-scale prospective study undertaken amongst 49,898 health professionals with the objective being evaluating the association between intake of dietary lycopene and incidence and type of prostate cancer. Lycopene is carotenoid and antioxidant found in red colored fruits and vegetables (e.g. tomatoes). The results of the study which was undertaken by Ke Zu et al are reported in a CancerNetwork Oncology article by Anna Azvolinsky dated 11 February 2014. In her article she states that the authors of the study found that: "...consuming foods high in lycopene is linked to reduced risk of lethal prostate cancer. They suggest that with the advent of prostate-specific antigen screening, which has resulted in an uptick of asymptomatic, early-stage, and indolent prostate cancer diagnoses, the more relevant endpoint for lycopene studies may be the detection of lethal prostate cancer rather than indolent disease." The Azvolinsky article is here or here: The Zu et al abstract is here or here:

Research indicating no association between metformin usage and risk of prostate cancer. In a Medscape Urology News article by Janis Kelly on 8 August 2013 is a report on a retrospective research study undertaken by David Margel et al. The study examined the association between cumulative duration of metformin use after PC diagnosis and all-cause and prostate cancer-specific mortality in men with diabetes. The Kelly article is here: or here: An abstract of the research study was reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and is here: or here: The authors concluded that "Increased cumulative duration of metformin exposure after PCa diagnosis was associated with decreases in both all-cause and PCa-specific mortality among diabetic men." There is a second recent article by the same authors, reported in this Medscape Urology article here: or here: The authors are reported as concluding that: "This large study did not find an association between metformin use and risk of prostate cancer among older men with diabetes, regardless of cancer grade or method of diagnosis."

Prophylactic value of statins related to dosage, length of treatment and brand
. In the 22 October 2013 edition of Renal and Urology News, Jody A Charnow reports on a large-scale study undertaken by a team headed by Dr Alexander Lustman. The article indicates that: "...Prolonged statin use is associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer but the extent of this protective effect varies by duration of use time and type of statin, according to a new study. A team led by Alexander Lustman, MD, of Clalit Health Services [and Tel Aviv University] Israel, conducted a population-based cohort study of 66,741 men aged 45-85 years... The longer statins were used, the greater the reduction in PCa risk. In a fully adjusted model, men who used statins for five years or more had a 78% decreased risk of a PCa diagnosis compared with non-users. Men who used statins for one to five years had a 45% decreased risk and those who used statins for three to 12 months had a 32% decreased risk, the researchers reported online ahead of print in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Disease. Risk reductions also varied by cumulative statin use... Moreover, the reduction in risk varied by type of statin. Compared with no statin use, men who used rosuvastatin for at least six months had an 80% decreased risk of PCa in a fully adjusted model. Men who used simvastatin or atorvastatin for at least six months had a 52% and 55% decreased risk. The risk was increased by 34% and 29% for men who used lovastatin or fluvastatin, respectively. The article is here or here: An abstract of the original article by Lustman et al is here or here:

Statins may reduce mortality risk in prostate cancer patients.
In a Pharmacy Times article dated 12 November 2013 Aimee Simone reports a large scale study for which she concludes that "Risk of death from prostate cancer was reduced for patients who started taking statins after being diagnosed with the disease and was reduced even more for those who started taking statins before being diagnosed. The study was undertaken by L Azoulay et al and their abstract is here and here: However, the review by Simone contains a more informative summary in these words: "A new study suggests that in addition to improving outcomes in patients with high cholesterol, statins may also reduce the risk of death in prostate cancer patients. In the study, patients who used statins before and after receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis experienced the greatest benefits. Although several previous studies have assessed a potential beneficial effect of statins on prostate cancer outcomes, the results have been inconsistent, most likely due to limitations and variations in study design. The current study, published online on November 4, 2013, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, primarily investigated the association between statin use after prostate cancer diagnosis and the risk of prostate cancer mortality. In secondary analyses, the study also evaluated the relationship between statin use and risk of all-cause mortality, and the effects of statin use before prostate cancer diagnosis. Using the United Kingdom National Cancer Registry, a large, population-based electronic database, the researchers identified newly diagnosed non-metastatic prostate cancer patients from April 1998 through December 2009 who were followed until October 2012. These patients were then linked to 3 additional databases to obtain tumor information, hospital records, and death certificates. All patients were followed for at least 1 year and were observed until they ended their registration with their general practice, the end of the study period, or death, whichever came first. A total of 11,772 non-metastatic prostate cancer patients were enrolled in the study and followed for an average of 4.4 years. The results indicated that patients who used statins after their cancer diagnosis had a 24% reduced risk of death caused by prostate cancer. A dose-response relationship was also observed; statins were more beneficial to patients who took higher cumulative doses for longer periods of time. In a secondary analysis, statins were found to decrease the risk of all-cause mortality by 14%. In addition, patients who took statins both before and after their prostate cancer diagnosis were found to have a 45% reduction in risk for death related to prostate cancer and a 34% reduction in risk of all-cause mortality. The researchers also found statin use to be associated with a decreased risk of distant metastasis. The authors note that their study is the largest to evaluate the relationship between statin use and prostate cancer outcomes and may be more reliable than previous studies due to its design and lengthy follow-up. However, the authors note that the study did have limitations, including potential misclassification of mortality, missing prescription information, and variations in adherence to the statin regimen by patients. Finally, although the results of this study provide evidence that the use of statins may be associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer mortality, additional well-conducted observational studies are needed to confirm these findings before launching randomized controlled trials assessing the effects of statins in the adjuvant setting, the authors write." The Simone article is here or here:

Statins might NOT lower the risk of recurrence of prostate cancer after a radical prostatectomy. In an abstract reported in the September 2012 edition of the Journal of Urology, Alon Y Mass et al observe that the effect of statins on prostate cancer recurrence has been investigated in several studies with inconsistent results: Mass and his colleagues report their investigation into whether or not statins were associated with biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer in a large cohort of men after radical prostatectomy and also report their meta-analysis of existing studies. The authors concluded that: "Our findings are consistent with the results of the meta-analysis, which indicated that preoperative statin use does not impact the overall risk of biochemical recurrence." A similar conclusion was reported in a 2 October 2012 Medscape Urology News article by Dr Will Boggs: He reports the results of a meta-analysis undertaken by a team led by Dr. Edward Messing. Boggs states that the Messing meta-analysis indicated that "... there was no significant difference in the risk of biochemical recurrence between statin users and nonusers...".

Aspirin may reduce the risk of prostate-cancer-specific mortality. In a 21 March 2012 article published by Cancer Research UK (see ) reference is made to the results of three article published in early 2012 by Prof. Peter Rothwell et al. The studies indicate that taking low-dose aspirin regularly lowers the risk of developing cancer and also lowers the risk of cancer spreading. Prostate cancer is not mentioned specifically in the article. Unfortunately these abstracts do not provide any details: , , Readers would need to access the full articles to determine whether or not prostate cancer is referred to specifically. However, in a Cancernetwork web article dated 11 September 2012, Ian Ingram reports the results of a further study of aspirin, conducted by Assoc. Prof. Stanley L Liauw et al at the University of Chicago: Ingram indicates that in the Liauw study, aspirin reduced the risk of prostate-cancer-specific mortality. However, he also indicates that Liauw et al state that "The optimal usage of aspirin, as well as the potential toxicity, should be addressed in a prospective study," and that "a randomized comparison would be valuable to corroborate this association and justify a routine recommendation of aspirin in patients with prostate cancer."

Effect of dutasteride on the risk of prostate cancer. An article by G L Andriole el al in The New England Journal of Medicine, 2010 362:1192-1202. The authors concluded that “...among men at increased risk for prostate cancer and for benign prostatic hyperplasia, dutasteride reduced the risk of prostate cancers and precursor lesions and improved many outcomes related to benign prostatic hyperplasia. Dutasteride may be considered as a treatment option for men who are at increased risk for prostate cancer.” The article can be viewed here or downloaded as a 426 KB PDF file from here.