Can statin therapy reduce the risk of melanoma? A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Abstract

A growing body of literature suggests that statins may have a chemopreventive potential against melanoma through pleiotropic anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antiangiogenesis mechanisms. Our aim was to examine this association through a detailed meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). A comprehensive search for trials published up to June 2009 was performed, reviews of each study were conducted and data were abstracted. Prior to meta-analysis, the studies were evaluated for publication bias and heterogeneity. Pooled relative risk estimates (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the fixed- and the random-effects models. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses were also conducted. Sixteen RCTs of statins for cardiovascular outcomes, involving 62,568 individuals with a mean age of 60 years and an average follow-up of nearly 4.7 years, contributed to the analysis. We found no evidence of publication bias (P = 0.47) or heterogeneity among the studies (P = 0.25). Statin use did not significantly affect the risk of developing melanoma assuming either a fixed- (RR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.67–1.26), or a random-effects model (RR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.62–1.36). This neutral effect was further supported by the results of subgroup and sensitivity analyses. Our findings do not support a protective effect of statins against melanoma.

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