Statin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use in relation to clinical outcome among patients with Rai stage 0 chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Tait D. Shanafelt, Kari G. Rabe, Neil E. Kay, Clive S. Zent, Timothy G. Call, Susan L. Slager, Deborah A. Bowen, Susan M. Schwager, Grzegorz S. Nowakowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Statins and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most commonly prescribed medications. In vitro studies suggest that statins and NSAIDs may have potential as anticancer therapies in low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphomas including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and a recent observational study found statin use was associated with improved event free survival in patients with follicular lymphoma. Other studies have suggested that statins reduce the efficacy of rituximab by inhibiting binding to CD20. We therefore conducted an observational cohort study of 686 patients with newly diagnosed Rai stage 0 CLL to evaluate whether statin or NSAID use was related to their clinical outcome or influenced the efficacy of rituximab therapy. At diagnosis, 136 (20) patients took statins and 230 (34) scheduled daily aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. No difference in time to treatment was observed based on statin or NSAID use. Among patients receiving a rituximab-containing first-line therapy, no difference in time to salvage treatment was observed based on statin use. Although previous studies suggested statins may improve event free survival among patients with follicular lymphoma, we find no impact of statins on time to initial therapy in this large study of patients with Rai stage 0 CLL. The invitro observation that statins reduce rituximab efficacy does not appear to have clinical significance in CLL care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1233-1240
Number of pages8
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010



  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • medications
  • neoplasia
  • non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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