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Cholesterol Drug May Have Role in Treating Prostate Cancer

bdhilton
Posts: 767
Joined: Jan 2010

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920111317.htm

Cholesterol Drug May Have Role in Treating Prostate Cancer
ScienceDaily (Sep. 20, 2010) — A drug commonly prescribed for people with high cholesterol may also be effective in treating prostate cancer, according to new research by Dr. Xiao-Yan Wen at St. Michael's Hospital.

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Rosuvastatin -- a statin drug sold as Crestor -- suppressed the growth of transplanted human prostate cancer cells in mice.

"Our data provided solid pre-clinical evidence and a strong rationale for clinical trials of statins in the treatment of prostate cancer," said Wen, whose research appears in the September issue of European Urology, the journal of the European Association of Urology.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian men -- one in seven men will develop the disease during his lifetime and one in 27 will die from it. Despite improvements in treatments such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, many patients still progress to advanced stages.

Recent clinical trials have shown encouraging results regarding the use of angiogenic inhibitors -- substances that prevent the growth of blood vessels that feed tumors.

Wen and his colleagues in Canada and China screened 2,000 small molecules in zebrafish embryos with 2,000 small molecules. Seven compounds -- four of them statins -- slowed or prevented the growth of those blood vessels. They then decided to investigate the cancer-fighting potential of one of those statins, rosuvastatin, and found it suppressed the growth of prostate cancer in mice without apparent side effects.

If human trials confirmed that statin drugs can optimize the benefits of radiation, that would help doctors determine the most effective, less toxic and affordable treatments for their prostate cancer patients

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

The reason that statins may suppress PCa is that it suppresses the production of testosterone, which is believed to contribute to the growth of PCa -- hence the use of much stronger drugs that do the same (and much more) via hormone treatment for advanced PCa -- but, as a result, statins can also result in ED.

I learned this inadvertently when my simvastatin medication was raised from 40 to 80mg daily. My libido when into the toilet, I had difficulty maintaining an erection and could not ejaculate (when when I could get it up). Researched the problem online and found out the ED is a common side effect of taking statins, which I never knew before. I immediately stopped taking simvastatin entirely. My sex drive returned and I was able to get it up and ejaculate again.

So, if you're taking statins and have ED, that may be the cause of the problem. Of course, it you've already had PCa treatment -- surgery or radiation -- those treatments may be the main cause of your ED problem but, depending on the seriousness of your cholesterol problem, you might still might want to stop taking statins to see if the condition improves, especially if you're also taking sexual performance enhancing drugs -- like viagra or cialis -- because the statins may interfere with their effectiveness. Of course, the trade off is that the statins may actually be of some benefit in suppressing PCa. So, whether to stop taking statins could be a tough call, especially if continued sexual function is important to you, like it is to me.

In any event, it's been about 3 months since I stopped taking simvastatin and plan to get another cholesterol level test before consider taking it again. I've changed a few things in my diet and want to see if it's made any difference and, if it doesn't, I want to investigate other cholesterol reducing alternatives before I decide whether to take a statin again.

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