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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention

Volume 26, Issue 8, August 2017, Pages 1225-1232.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-17-0227. Copyright © American Association for Cancer Research


Background: Published evidence indicates that individual use of metformin and statin is associated with reduced cancer mortality. However, their differential and joint effects on pancreatic cancer survival are inconclusive.Methods: We identified a large population-based cohort of 12,572 patients ages 65 years or older with primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) diagnosed between 2008 and 2011 from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare-linked database. Exposure to metformin and statins was ascertained from Medicare Prescription Drug Event files. Cox proportional hazards models with time-varying covariates adjusted for propensity scores were used to assess the association while controlling for potential confounders.Results: Of 12,572 PDAC patients, 950 (7.56%) had used metformin alone, 4,506 (35.84%) had used statin alone, and 2,445 (19.45%) were dual users. Statin use was significantly associated with improved overall survival [HR, 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.90-0.98], and survival was more pronounced in postdiagnosis statin users (HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.56-0.86). Metformin use was not significantly associated with overall survival (HR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.94-1.09). No beneficial effect was observed for dual users (HR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.95-1.05).Conclusions: Our findings suggest potential benefits of statins on improving survival among elderly PDAC patients; further prospective studies are warranted to corroborate the putative benefit of statin therapy in pancreatic cancer.Impact: Although more studies are needed to confirm our findings, our data add to the body of evidence on potential anticancer effects of statins. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(8); 1225-32. ©2017 AACR.

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