Lipophilic statins extend survival in cancer patients

Lipophilic statins extend survival in cancer patients

Prior use of statins, especially lipophilic statins, give women a better chance of beating cancers such as breast, bowel and melanoma, according to a nationwide study in Australia.

All women in the research were between 18 and 89, and had survived at least one year after diagnosis. The study by Jia-Li Feng PhD of the QIMR Berghofer Research Institute in Brisbane and Xiwen Qin of Monash Sydney, followed the pharmacy records of 20,046 women with breast cancer, 11,719 with bowel cancer and 6,430 with melanoma across the years 2003 to 2013

All had been prescribed statins prior to their cancer diagnosis. The researchers also analysed for the type of statin – hydrophilic or lipophilic. While both reduce cholesterol in the bloodstream, lipophilic statins cross membranes and can reduce cholesterol in tissues.

The greater the adherence to statins prior to diagnosis, the greater the survival, especially with lipophilic statins in breast and colorectal cancer, but less so in melanoma.

Oxford University Biochemist Chris Woollams added, “Fat is known to spread cancer cells. Indeed, it is not cancer that kills patients, it is metastases and we have a number of studies that show, once in the lymph, cancer cells switch from sugar to burning fatty acids. We have also covered research showing that people with the highest levels of blood fats get more metastasis and survive least.

We have been suggesting Atorvastatin or Simvastatin for a decade or so, although – where cholesterol levels aren’t that high - we do sometimes suggest eating more tomatoes, especially cooked tomatoes and taking the supplement lycopene, which has been shown to beat statins in research, without the known side effects such as CoQ10 lowering, bone pain and dementia risk.

Like a lot of Statin research, you do though have to be careful of the affiliations of the researchers doing the research. Here it was funded by the Australian Health Authorities.

Go to: Can statins really increase cancer survival?


  1. Does adherence to lipidlowering medications improve cancer survival? A nationwide study of breast and colorectal cancer, and melanoma. 20 th Oct 2020.


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2020 Research
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