MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Rahul Potluri
Senior author and founder of the ACALM Study Unit
Aston Medical School
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The links between hyperlipidaemia and cancer has been exciting scientists in recent years. We have previously shown an association with breast cancer and hyperlipidaemia using a cross-sectional dataset in 2014.
In 2016 we showed that in patients with the four main cancers in the UK (namely Breast, Lung, Colon and Prostate) that the presence of hyperlipidaemia improved the long term mortality and prognosis of these patients. In this study utilising a big data, longitudinal study methodology, we looked at 16043 healthy women above the age of 40 with hyperlipidaemia and compared these to an age and gender matched control sample of 16043 healthy women without high cholesterol. We then followed up these patients and found that subsequent breast cancer rates in the women with hyperlipidaemia were 45% lower. Subsequent mortality in those patients who developed breast cancer was also 40% lower in the hyperlipidaemia group compared to the non-hyperlipidaemia controlled sample.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: The results of this study suggest that hyperlipidaemia leads to lower breast cancer rates and mortality rates. Given that the majority of these patients are on statin therapy for their hyperlipidaemia, this is the strongest evidence to date showing the role of statin therapy in reducing breast cancer and improving mortality. This needs to be studied further in a clinical trial to evaluate further.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: The results of this study suggest that it is now time for a clinical trial for statin therapy in breast cancer patients. The key questions that remain are how will this trial be formed, will statins prevent breast cancer or improve their mortality. The evidence so far suggests they may do both but a prevention clinical trial is likely to require a long follow-up period at great cost. Therefore, a clinical trial looking at mortality in breast cancer patients +/- statins is the most feasible and practical way to give us further answers.
This is a very fascinating study and we look forward to the clinical trial imminently which may signal a paradigm shift in breast cancer management.
No relevant disclosures.
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Citation: ESC 2017
The abstract “Patients with a diagnosis of hyperlipidaemia have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer and lower mortality rates: a large retrospective longitudinal cohort study from the UK ACALM registry” will be presented during:
The session Lipid lowering therapy in primary cardiovascular prevention on Monday 28 August
Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.