Statin use and prognosis in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma in the rituximab era

Grzegorz S. Nowakowski, Matthew J. Maurer, Thomas M. Habermann, Stephen M. Ansell, William R. Macon, Kay M. Ristow, Cristine Allmer, Susan L. Slager, Thomas E. Witzig, James R. Cerhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Purpose: Statins have antilymphoma properties but have also been shown to inhibit the binding of rituximab to the CD20 antigen, resulting in reduced antitumor activity of rituximab in vitro. The clinical impact of statin use on the outcome of lymphoma patients treated with a rituximab-containing regimen is unknown. Patients and Methods: Consecutive patients with newly diagnosed, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and follicular lymphoma (FL) were enrolled onto a registry and observed prospectively. The impact of statin use on patients' outcomes was analyzed. Results: Two hundred twenty-eight patients with DLBCL and 293 patients with FL were enrolled from September 2002 through June 2007; 21% of patients with DLBCL and 19% of patients with FL were on statins at diagnosis, and 20% and 17% remained on statins during lymphoma treatment, respectively. All patients with DLBCL and 39% of patients with FL received initial therapy containing rituximab. The median follow-up time was 47 months (range, 13 to 80 months). Statin use had no impact on the overall response rate (P = .67), overall survival (P = .76), or event-free survival (EFS) in patients with DLBCL (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.85; 95% CI, 0.43 to 1.68). Statin use at diagnosis was associated with improved EFS in patients with FL (HR = 0.45; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.77), including subgroups treated with rituximab or a rituximab-containing regimen (HR = 0.38; 95% CI, 0.14 to 1.07) and patients who were observed only (HR = 0.38; 95% CI, 0.17 to 0.84). Conclusion: The concurrent use of statins during the treatment of patients with DLBCL and FL in the rituximab era did not adversely affect outcome. The apparent benefit of statin therapy on FL outcome requires further studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-417
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 20 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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