Researchers have found that drugs used to treat blood cholesterol can be used to treat prostate cancer that is no longer responding to hormone treatment.
Scientists at Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Center in Glasgow observed 12 participants in a clinical trial.
The results show that statins slow tumor growth when they are used along with a treatment that lowers hormone levels, known as androgen removal therapy, although a much larger trial is needed before when making clinical efficacy decisions.
Lead researcher Professor Hing Leung of the UK’s Glasgow Cancer Research Institute Beatson said: “Our study is the first to show that statins have a detectable effect on cancer development. prostate cancer in patients.
“We think that statins might stop prostate cancer from making androgens from cholesterol, cutting off the cancer’s gland to become resistant to androgen removal therapy.”
Once a cancer stops responding to hormone treatment and becomes castration-resistant prostate cancer, it is now “very difficult to treat”.
If larger trials are successful, then approved drugs could be used to quickly treat patients.
He added: “We need to test statins in a larger group of patients over a longer period of time to fully understand the benefits and risks for patients. But this data gives us hope that we can. there may be some more prostate cancer treatments available in the future.”
One military veteran, John Culling, 64, was diagnosed with a form of prostate cancer in 2019 and welcomed the new study.
He told PA: “I’m not too worried. I only had to wake up once during the night, but I’ve never had to wake up before, so it was the change that prompted me to take it in for a check-up.
“The diagnosis came as a shock. I’m 60 years old but I’ve been in the military all my life so I’m very healthy.”
Mr Culling, who lives in Broughty Ferry, near Dundee, has had chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy successful and is now being monitored for the risk that the cancer may return due to its aggressive nature.
“Knowing that scientists are working in laboratories and hospitals conducting research and clinical trials, especially with drugs already used for other conditions, gives give me hope for both myself and future generations.
“Hopefully research like this means even better outcomes for anyone who might have to go through a diagnosis like me.”