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Editor's Correspondence
May 22, 2006

Breast Cancer Prevention: Time for Randomized Controlled Trials With Statins

Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(10):1143-1144. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.10.1143-b

Eliassen et al1 conclude from their epidemiological study that the beneficial effects of statins seen in the laboratory may not be applicable to humans. However, the epidemiological evidence for statin effects in breast cancer has been mixed, although heavily weighted toward no effect. In their study, 74 904 women were screened and 3177 invasive breast cancer cases occurred.1 Of these women, 237 had used statins, but only 127 had used statins for longer than 2 years. Furthermore, only 21 women had used statins in the important group of estrogen receptror– and progesterone receptor–negative invasive cancers, and of these women, only 13 had used statins longer than 2 years. Hormone receptor–negative cancers have a worse prognosis, and some data suggest that statins may help prevent hormone receptor–negative breast cancer.2