Does statin affect bacillus Calmette-Guerin for transitional cell bladder cancer?

Thursday, 11 September 2008 - Bacillus Calmette-Guerin is an effective immunotherapy for carcinoma in situ of the bladder and it reduces recurrence from resected papillary transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. Many patients receiving bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy are concurrently taking statin agents, which have known immunomodulatory properties and may alter the performance of bacillus Calmette-Guerin. Some data have suggested that patients taking a statin while on bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy experience reduced clinical efficacy. Berglund et al. (2008) evaluated the effect of statin on the efficacy of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin treatment for transitional cell bladder cancer.

The authors conducted a retrospective review of 952 consecutive patients from 1978 through 2006. Time to recurrence and progression to surgery were compared between those taking and those not taking a statin by Kaplan-Meier methods and multivariable Cox regression controlling for stage and grade.

There were 245 (26%) patients taking a statin before bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy and 707 not on statin therapy (74%). A total of 796 patients had recurrence overall with 214 in the statin group and 582 in the other group. Median time to recurrence was similar between those who did and those who did not use a statin. On multivariable analysis statin use was not significantly associated with recurrence (hazard ratio 1.04; 95% CI 0.81, 1.34; p = 0.7) or progression to surgery (hazard ratio 0.77; 95% CI 0.52, 1.13; p = 0.17) after bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy.

In conclusion, there is no statistically significant association between statin use and recurrence or progression to open surgery in patients treated with bacillus Calmette-Guerin for transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. Based on these data patients should not be discouraged from taking statins while undergoing bacillus Calmette-Guerin treatment.

Berglund, R. K., Savage, C. J., Vora, K. C., Kurta, J. M., & Cronin, A. M. (2008). An Analysis of the Effect of Statin Use on the Efficacy of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin Treatment for Transitional Cell Carcinoma of the Bladder. J Urol, 180, 1297-1300.

Authors: Berglund et al.

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