European Journal of Epidemiology

, Volume 31, Issue 9, pp 947–952 | Cite as

Statin use and risk of glioma: population-based case–control analysis

  • Corinna Seliger
  • Christoph Rudolf Meier
  • Claudia Becker
  • Susan Sara Jick
  • Ulrich Bogdahn
  • Peter Hau
  • Michael Fred Leitzmann
Letter to the Editor


Statins have been reported to decrease the incidence of cancer, but the risk of glioma among statin users has been investigated in only two prior observational studies, both of them suggesting a modest protective effect of statins. We conducted a matched case–control study using data from the UK-based Clinical Practice Research Datalink to analyse use of statins among 2469 cases with glioma and 24,690 controls. We performed conditional logistic regression analysis to calculate relative risks, estimated as odds ratios (ORs) with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) adjusting for multiple confounding factors. As compared with non-use of statins, use of statins was not associated with risk of glioma (OR for ≥90 prescriptions=0.75; 95 % CI 0.48–1.17). Our findings do not support previous sparse evidence of a possible inverse association between statin use and glioma risk.


Glioma Epidemiology Case–control study Statins 



We thank Pascal Egger for technical support and programming and all members of the KFO 262 for critical discussions regarding our manuscript. This study was sponsored by the German Research Foundation [KFO 262/P10 to C.S and M.F.L.].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics approval

For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Supplementary material

10654_2016_145_MOESM1_ESM.docx (12 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 11 kb)


  1. 1.
    Ostrom QT, Gittleman H, Liao P, Rouse C, Chen Y, Dowling J, et al. CBTRUS statistical report: primary brain and central nervous system tumors diagnosed in the United States in 2007–2011. Neuro-oncology. 2014;16(Suppl 4):iv1–63.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Stupp R, Hegi ME, Mason WP, van den Bent MJ, Taphoorn MJ, Janzer RC, et al. Effects of radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide versus radiotherapy alone on survival in glioblastoma in a randomised phase III study: 5-year analysis of the EORTC-NCIC trial. Lancet Oncol. 2009;10(5):459–66.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Inskip PD, Linet MS, Heineman EF. Etiology of brain tumors in adults. Epidemiol Rev. 1995;17(2):382–414.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ma Z, Wang W, Jin G, Chu P, Li H. Effect of statins on gastric cancer incidence: a meta-analysis of case control studies. J Cancer Res Ther. 2014;10(4):859–65.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    McGlynn KA, Hagberg K, Chen J, Graubard BI, London WT, Jick S, et al. Statin use and risk of primary liver cancer in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. J Nat Cancer Inst. 2015;107(4):djv009.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ferris JS, McCoy L, Neugut AI, Wrensch M, Lai R. HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, NSAIDs and risk of glioma. Int J Cancer. 2012;131(6):E1031–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gaist D, Andersen L, Hallas J, Sorensen HT, Schroder HD, Friis S. Use of statins and risk of glioma: a nationwide case-control study in Denmark. Br J Cancer. 2013;108(3):715–20.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Koyuturk M, Ersoz M, Altiok N. Simvastatin induces proliferation inhibition and apoptosis in C6 glioma cells via c-jun N-terminal kinase. Neurosci Lett. 2004;370(2–3):212–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Obara S, Nakata M, Takeshima H, Kuratsu J, Maruyama I, Kitajima I. Inhibition of migration of human glioblastoma cells by cerivastatin in association with focal adhesion kinase (FAK). Cancer Lett. 2002;185(2):153–61.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Schmidt F, Groscurth P, Kermer M, Dichgans J, Weller M. Lovastatin and phenylacetate induce apoptosis, but not differentiation, in human malignant glioma cells. Acta Neuropathol. 2001;101(3):217–24.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Chan DY, Chen GG, Poon WS, Liu PC. Lovastatin sensitized human glioblastoma cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. J Neurooncol. 2008;86(3):273–83.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Afshordel S, Kern B, Clasohm J, Konig H, Priester M, Weissenberger J, et al. Lovastatin and perillyl alcohol inhibit glioma cell invasion, migration, and proliferation—impact of Ras-/Rho-prenylation. Pharmacol Res. 2015;91:69–77.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yanae M, Tsubaki M, Satou T, Itoh T, Imano M, Yamazoe Y, et al. Statin-induced apoptosis via the suppression of ERK1/2 and Akt activation by inhibition of the geranylgeranyl-pyrophosphate biosynthesis in glioblastoma. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2011;30:74.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jick H, Jick SS, Derby LE. Validation of information recorded on general practitioner based computerised data resource in the United Kingdom. BMJ (Clin Res ed). 1991;302(6779):766–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vuletic S, Riekse RG, Marcovina SM, Peskind ER, Hazzard WR, Albers JJ. Statins of different brain penetrability differentially affect CSF PLTP activity. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2006;22(5–6):392–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Corinna Seliger
    • 1
  • Christoph Rudolf Meier
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Claudia Becker
    • 2
  • Susan Sara Jick
    • 3
  • Ulrich Bogdahn
    • 1
  • Peter Hau
    • 1
  • Michael Fred Leitzmann
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Neurology and Wilhelm Sander-NeuroOncology UnitRegensburg University HospitalRegensburgGermany
  2. 2.Basel Pharmacoepidemiology Unit, Division of Clinical Pharmacy and Epidemiology, Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance ProgramBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Hospital PharmacyUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and Preventive MedicineUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany

Personalised recommendations