Senior citizens who are taking statins at an assisted living facility or elsewhere because of cholesterol or other heart-related conditions may find that they could offer another potential benefit.
Researchers at the Duke Prostate Center were expanding on previous evidence linking the anti-inflammatory properties of the drug to reduced rates of advanced prostate cancer.
When they looked at 250 past surgeries for either partial or whole removals of the prostate due to cancer, they found that those who had been taking statins had their risk for tumor inflammation reduced by more than 70 percent.
The findings add on to evidence from previous Duke research that prostate cancer recurrence is caused by inflammation, and lead author Dr Lionel Banez says his team may have found the mechanism for how the drugs combat the disease.
His cohort Dr Stephen Freedland called the results "very promising," but said that further research would be necessary to confirm the link between statins and improved prostate function.
More than 185,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics.
Statins are the most common medication prescribed for lowering lipid levels, according to a Stanford University study.