Can Statin Use After Diagnosis of Esophageal Cancer Prolong Survival? (AGA Journals)

March 29, 2016


“Statin use after a diagnosis of esophageal adenocarcinoma, but not esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, reduces esophageal cancer–specific and all-cause mortality, researchers report in the April issue of Gastroenterology.

Esophageal cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer-related death in men and eighth most common cause in women, worldwide. Esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC) are the most common histologic subtype worldwide, but the incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) has increased rapidly since the 1970s and the most common form in the West. Fewer than 20% of patients with esophageal cancer survive for 5 years.

Statins (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors) are cholesterol-lowering drugs that have also been reported to have anti-cancer effects. Statin use after diagnosis has been associated with a reduced risk of cancer-specific mortality in from prostate, breast, and colorectal carcinomas. Statins were also found to reduce risk of liver cancer.

Statin use has been inversely associated with the development of the histologic subtypes of esophageal cancers. However, it is not clear whether statin use after a diagnosis of esophageal cancer prolongs survival, or has different effects on EAC vs ESCC.

Leo Alexandre et al sought to determine whether statin use after a diagnosis of esophageal cancer reduced cancer-specific and all-cause mortality in a large cohort (4445 men and women) in the United Kingdom. They collected their data from the United Kingdom General Practice Research database, the UK National Cancer Registry, and the Office of National Statistics database.”

To read more about the findings, visit:


University of Louisville researchers find association between oral bacteria and esophageal cancer (ECSS)

March 3, 2016


Louisville, KY– “University of Louisville School of Dentistry researchers have found a bacterial species responsible for gum disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis, is present in 61 percent of patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).

The findings, published recently in Infectious Agents and Cancer, only detected P. gingivalis in 12 percent of tissues adjacent to the cancerous cells, while this organism was undetected in normal esophageal tissue.

“These findings provide the first direct evidence that P. gingivalis infection could be a novel risk factor for ESCC, and may also serve as a prognostic biomarker for this type of cancer,” said Huizhi Wang, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of oral immunology and infectious diseases at the UofL School of Dentistry. “These data, if confirmed, indicate that eradication of a common oral pathogen may contribute to a reduction in the significant number of people suffering with ESCC.”

UofL School of Dentistry researchers Jan Potempa, David A. Scott, Richard J. Lamont and Huizhi Wang  (UofL Photo)

UofL School of Dentistry researchers Jan Potempa, David A. Scott, Richard J. Lamont and Huizhi Wang (UofL Photo)

The esophagus, a muscular tube critical to the movement of food from the mouth to the stomach, is lined with two main kinds of cells, thus there are two main types of esophageal cancer: adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The latter is more common in developing countries.

In collaboration with the College of Clinical Medicine of Henan University of Science and Technology in Luoyang, China, Wang and his UofL colleagues Richard J. Lamont, Ph.D., Jan Potempa, Ph.D., D.Sc., and David A. Scott, Ph.D., tested tissue samples from 100 patients with ESCC and 30 normal controls.”

To read more about the findings from the research team at UofL School of Dentistry, click here.