In a new study, researchers found that the combined use of aspirin, statins, and metformin is associated with decreased lung cancer incidence and death.
The research was conducted by a team at the Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine.
All three medications are common—approximately 35 million people take a statin to control cholesterol; more than 120 million people take metformin to control diabetes, and between 6 and 10 million people take aspirin daily.
The aim of this study was to examine the associations of aspirin, metformin, and statins with lung cancer risk and mortality.
The team used population-based nationwide cohort data from the Korean National Health Insurance Services (KNHIS) database.
They examined 732,199 Koreans from the Korean National Health Insurance Services database. The patients were followed between January 2004 and December 2013.
To address the combined associations of these cardiovascular drugs with lung cancer risk and mortality, the researchers categorized the cohort into eight groups, based on exposure to aspirin, statins, and metformin.
They found the combined use of aspirin, statins, and metformin was linked to decreased lung cancer incidence and mortality compared with non-users.
When these cardiovascular drugs were used in combination, their protective effects became stronger. The longer the duration of combined use, the more protective the effects.
These findings are in line with a previous study demonstrating that aspirin and metformin synergistically inhibit lung cancer cell proliferation by activating AMP-activated protein kinase, which plays a critical role in the regulation of lipogenesis in cancer cells.
The team theorized that concomitant use of aspirin, statins, and metformin concurrently inhibits multiple pathways related to lung cancer cell growth and proliferation resulting in favorable associations with lung cancer risk and mortality.
One author of the study is Dong Wook Shin, MD, DrPH, MBA.
The study is published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
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