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Expert Point of View: Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, and Richard T. Penson, MD


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Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD

Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) President Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, of UCLA School of Medicine, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, commented on this study with statins and ovarian cancer: “This large study based on the records of more than 10,000 women over a 10-year period drawing from the Finnish National Cancer Registry found that the effect of cholesterol-lowering drugs was associated with a 40% reduction in ovarian cancer–specific mortality. This study is hypothesis-generating. This provocative observation needs to be validated in a randomized controlled trial, and this study provides justification for starting a chemoprevention study.”

Dr. Ribas continued: “The study was well done and is a great start. Statins have little toxicity and are inexpensive. If this hypothesis is proven, it would be a great outcome.”

Clinical Implications

Richard T. Penson, MD, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, Clinical Director Medical Gynecologic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital; and Independent Review Board Chair, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Cancer

Richard T. Penson, MD

Richard T. Penson, MD

Center, Boston, also commented on this study. “More positive news about the potential benefit of cholesterol-lowering statins was presented during the recent AACR Virtual Annual Meeting II. The authors called for a confirmative randomized trial, but this is unlikely to happen. Potentially more interesting is that the benefit with statins is now a consistent observation, observed both in prevention and when statins were started after the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. These findings suggest that elucidating the mechanism may lead to novel targeted therapy, perhaps directed at the RAS pathway or autophagy.” 

DISCLOSURE: Dr. Ribas holds stock or other ownership interests in Advaxis, Arcus Biosciences, Compugen, CytomX Therapeutics, Five Prime Therapeutics, FLX Bio, ImaginAb, Lutris Pharma, Merus, PACT Pharma, Rgenix, and Tango Therapeutics; has received honoraria from Amgen, Chugai/Roche, Genentech/Roche, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, and Sanofi; has served as a consultant or advisor to Amgen, Chugai Pharma, Merck, Novartis, and Sanofi; and has received institutional research funding from Agilent and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr. Penson has received honoraria from AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Clovis Oncology, Eisai, Genentech/Roche, Janssen Oncology, Mersana Therapeutics, NewLink Genetics, Sutro Biopharma, Tesaro, and Vascular Biogenics; has served as a consultant or advisor to AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Baxalta, Care4ward, Clovis Oncology, Eisai, Genentech, Janssen Oncology, Merck, Mersana, Sutro, Tesaro, and Vascular Biogenics; has received institutional research funding from Array BioPharma, AstraZeneca, Cerulean Pharma, Eisai, Genentech, Regeneron, Sanofi, Tesaro, and Vascular Biogenics; holds patents or other intellectual property in Blackwell Publishing, BMJ, and UpToDate; and has been reimbursed for travel, accommodations, or other expenses by AstraZeneca, Clovis Oncology, Genentech, Tesaro, and Vascular Biogenics.


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