CLL Coverage from Every Angle

Statin Use in Patients With CLL: Impact on Survival Outcomes

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Karin E. Smedby, MD, PhD, of Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, and colleagues evaluated the use of statins in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) to determine their effect on outcomes for those treated with rituximab. Although statins appeared to be safe for use in these individuals, this study did not support the in vitro studies reporting improved survival for either disease. Their results, published in the British Journal of Haematology, suggest that further research is warranted.

This trial identified 16,098 patients in Sweden with either CLL (n = 3,279) or NHL (n = 12,819) who were either being actively treated or experienced a watch-and-wait strategy. Patient data were analyzed for statin dispensation from 6 months before diagnosis until 6 months before death or study completion.

Among the total participants, 3,184 used statins 6 months before diagnosis, and 74% of them continued taking them until at least 6 months after diagnosis. Despite a similarity in most lymphoma-specific demographics between the groups, statin users tended to be male, older at diagnosis, and had a higher use of other medications. A total of 4,743 deaths, including 3,040 lymphoma-specific and 608 cardiovascular disease–related deaths, were recorded during follow-up.

An adjusted analysis revealed no correlation between lymphoma-specific mortality and post-diagnosis statin use in either those with NHL (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.95) or CLL (HR = 0.91). However, in the nested case-control analysis, patients with CLL who used statins at any time did experience a significantly reduced lymphoma-specific mortality (HR = 0.59). Secondary outcome analyses found a significant reduction in cardiovascular disease–related mortality for those with CLL, but there was no evidence of a dose-response or dose-duration relationship with lymphoma-specific mortality.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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