BACKGROUND: Statins have demonstrated antineoplastic effects in breast cancer cell lines, particularly in oestrogen receptor (ER)-negative cell lines. However, epidemiological studies have not supported a preventive effect of statin use against breast cancer. Therefore, we examined the association between statin use and contralateral breast cancer (CBC) risk among women with breast cancer.
METHODS: We identified 52,723 women with non-metastatic breast cancer during 1996-2012 from the Danish Breast Cancer Group database. We defined time-varying post-diagnosis statin use as minimum two prescriptions lagged by 1 year. Cox regression analyses were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for CBC associated with statin use.
RESULTS: Statin use was associated with a lower CBC risk (HR = 0.88; 95% CI = 0.73-1.05). The inverse association was strongest for long-term use overall (HR = 0.64; 95% CI = 0.43-0.96), although the HR specifically for long-term consistent use and high-intensity use approached unity. Among ER-negative breast cancer patients, statin use was associated with a CBC risk reduction (HR = 0.67; 95% CI = 0.45-1.00).
CONCLUSIONS: We found some indication that statins reduce the risk of CBC. Further evaluations are needed to disentangle the equivocal results for long-term use and to establish if ER-negative breast cancer patients may benefit most from statin use.