[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 22-Oct-2012
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Contact: Jacqueline Gaulin
jgaulin@gi.org
301-263-9000
American College of Gastroenterology

Risks of esophagus cancer studied: Statins may protect against esophageal cancer

Las Vegas, NV, (October 22, 2012) Statin use is associated with protection from esophagus cancer according to a new meta-analysis of existing clinical studies exploring the cancer prevention effects of statins presented by a Mayo Clinic researcher, Dr. Siddharth Singh, at the American College of Gastroenterology 77th Annual Scientific Meeting in Las Vegas, NV.

Dr. Singh and his Mayo colleagues conducted a systematic review of eleven studies reporting 8,613 cases of esophageal cancer from studies including almost 1 million patients. Incidence of esophageal cancer is increasing in the United States, especially esophageal adenocarcinoma in patients with Barrett's esophagus.

"The meta-analysis of these studies showed a significant 30 percent reduction in esophageal cancer incidence with statins use," said Dr. Singh.

When looking more closely at the seven highest-quality observational studies among the eleven, researchers continued to find a significant chemo-protective effect with statin use. An analysis of a subset of patients with Barrett's esophagus, a pre-malignant condition associated with chronic acid reflux, revealed that, in this higher risk population, statin use was associated with a significant 41 percent decrease in the risk of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus.

Bone-Building Drugs for Osteoporosis Do Not Add to Risk of Esophagus Cancer

In a separate study, researchers at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville found no association between oral use of bisphosphonates, a class of bone-building drugs widely used for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, and the risk of esophageal cancer. This meta-analysis of 42 studies included 3,570 esophageal cancer patients in the analysis by Dr. Saowanee Ngamruengphong and collegauges.

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About the American College of Gastroenterology

Founded in 1932, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) is an organization with an international membership of more than 12,000 individuals from 80 countries. The College is committed to serving the clinically oriented digestive disease specialist through its emphasis on scholarly practice, teaching and research. The mission of the College is to serve the evolving needs of physicians in the delivery of high quality, scientifically sound, humanistic, ethical, and cost-effective health care to gastroenterology patients. www.gi.org View releases on other research breaking at the ACG meeting at http://gi.org/media/press-releases-for-acg-annual-scientific-meeting/

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