Other highlights in the May 17 JNCI

May 16, 2006

Statin Use Does Not Cause Breast Cancer

Postmenopausal women who use statins have the same risk of breast cancer as those who do not, according to a new study.

Using a group of 156,351 women from the Women's Health Initiative study, Jane A. Cauley, Dr.P.H., from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues examined use of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins and risk of invasive breast cancer. After an average follow-up of 6.7 years, they identified 4,383 invasive breast cancers.

The authors found that when all statins were considered together, statin use did not affect a person's risk of invasive breast cancer. Use of a type of statins, known as hydrophobic statins, was associated with an 18% decreased risk of breast cancer.

"Future studies of statins and breast cancer should assess associations with individual statins or statin categories because [statin] class differences may exist," the authors write.

Contact: Jim Swyers, 412-586-9773, swyersjp@upmc.edu

Mathematical Graph Can Accurately Predict Prostate Cancer Recurrence a Decade After Prostate Removal

A graph used to calculate prostate cancer recurrence, called a nomogram, makes accurate predictions about recurrence up to ten years after removal of the prostate gland, according to a new study.

Michael W. Kattan, Ph.D., of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, and colleagues tested a nomogram's ability to predict prostate cancer recurrence in 1,545 patients treated for prostate cancer. The results showed that the model slightly overpredicted that patients would not have recurring cancer (at 8 years, the model predicted recurrence free progression of 70-85%, versus 57-72% observed), but on the whole was an accurate predictor for prostate cancer recurrence.

Contact: Raquel Santiago, 216-444-4235, santiar@ccf.org

Hormones Used To Combat Anemia May Be Harmful

Erythropoietin, a hormone used to counter anemia, may increase a patient's risk of developing blood clots when given with chemotherapy drugs.

Julia Bohlius, M.D., of the University Hospital of Cologne in Germany, and colleagues reviewed the results of 57 trials between 1985 and April 2005 that examined the effects of medications epoetin alfa and beta and darbepoetin alfa. They observed that epoetin and darbepoetin reduced the need for red blood cell transfusions and improved hematologic response. But use of the drugs with thrombogenic chemotherapy increased the risk of thrombo-embolic events, which can have harmful effects including death. The authors suggest cancer patients using the drug combination or at high risk for blood clotting should exercise caution as the treatments are potentially harmful.

Contact: Julia Bohlius, 49-221-478-5933, Julia.Bohlius@uk-koeln.de

Also in the May 17 JNCI:
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Note: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute is published by Oxford University Press and is not affiliated with the National Cancer Institute. Attribution to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is requested in all news coverage. Visit the Journal online at http://jncicancerspectrum.oxfordjournals.org/.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute

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