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June 3, 2013

Study Examines Effects of Lipid-Lowering Medicines on Cancer Patients
 Treated for High Cholesterol, Diabetes and Heart Disease

NEW YORK (June 3, 2013) – Endometrial cancer patients who took statins and aspirin reduced their chance of death by a highly significant 84 percent, according to a new study by researchers at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care. Additionally, women who used only statins saw their risk of dying decline by 45 percent.  The study was presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology  in Chicago.

Endometrial cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs and includes several types of malignancies that appear in the lining of the uterus. The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 50,000 new cases of endometrial cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year, and more than 8,100 women will die from it. More than half of women diagnosed with endometrial cancer are in the 50-69 age group.

“These data are important as we explore the use of statins in patients with conditions beyond cardiovascular disease,” said lead author Nicole Nevadunsky, M.D., gynecologic oncologist, MECCC and Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. “We were pleased by these results and are continuing our efforts to understand the unexpected positive effects of these medications in endometrial cancer.”

This retrospective study analyzed medical records of 554 patients diagnosed with endometrial cancer between January 2005 and December 2009. Among them, 165 patients were on statin therapy and 68 women were taking both statins and aspirin. All patients were treated at Montefiore Medical Center. 

“It is not uncommon for women in their 50s and 60s to take statins and aspirin to treat cardiovascular conditions like high cholesterol or hypertension. Given the clear association we saw between statin and aspirin use and improved cancer survival, further evaluation is warranted to help us better understand how these medications may improve survival in endometrial and other cancers,” Dr. Nevadunsky said.

In addition to Dr. Nevadunsky, the research team from Montefiore and Einstein included Lori Spoozak, M.D., Eugenia Girda, M.D., Anne Van Arsdale, M.D., Mark H. Einstein, M.D. and Gary L. Goldberg, M.D.