Study suggests statins, fibrates offer little help in reducing risk of melanoma

December 5, 2006

National report - A combined analysis of several studies suggests that the use of statins or fibrates does not decrease the risk of melanoma.

National report-A combined analysis of several studies suggests that the use of statins or fibrates does not decrease the risk of melanoma.

The results of the analysis were published in a recent edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Studies have suggested that statins and fibrates may have anti-cancer benefits. To summarize the available data about the link between statins, fibrates and risk of melanoma, the researchers conducted a combined analysis of 20 clinical trials involving more than 70,000 patients that had assigned those patients to receive treatment with a statin, a fibrate or a placebo. The analysis evaluated the frequency of melanoma in each of the study groups.

When the researchers evaluated specific types of statins or fibrates, the only suggestion of a reduced risk of melanoma was found in one study of lovastatin. Thus the analysis concludes that these results “provide no support for the hypothesis that these drugs prevent melanoma when taken at low doses for managing hypercholesterolemia.”

The study also concludes that at least for the time being, limiting exposure to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet radiation is the most effective way to reduce melanoma risk.