The use of statins or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is not associated with prolonged overall survival (OS) or progression-free survival (PFS) among patients with World Health Organization (WHO) grade IV glioma, according to the results of a large retrospective cohort study. Findings from the analysis were published in PLoS One.

The investigators used the population-based clinical cancer registry Regensburg (Germany) to obtain data on all patients who were diagnosed with WHO grade III and IV glioma in the region of Lower Bavaria and Upper Palatinate between January 1, 1998, and December 31, 2013. They conducted multivariable adjusted Cox-regression analyses in 1093 patients with high-grade glioma, which is associated with a limited prognosis, based on treatment with statins or NSAIDs. Because data on duration of treatment and dose were largely missing from the study, the researchers were unable to conduct dose-response analyses.

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The results of the study demonstrated that the use of statins was not related to OS or PFS among patients with WHO grade IV glioma; however, the use of aspirin was associated with prolonged OS and PFS among individuals with WHO grade III glioma. In addition, the use of other NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and diclofenac, or non-NSAID analgesics, such as paracetamol, was largely unrelated to survival among patients with glioma. In certain parts of the analysis, the use of selective COX-2 inhibitors and metamizol was associated with inferior patient survival.

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Limitations of the study include the retrospective nature of the registry, the lack of data on duration and dose of treatment, and the low sample size in subgroups, which may have been linked to false-positive results.

The investigators concluded that additional observational studies with larger sample sizes and more complete information on molecular marker status and intensity of treatment are warranted to validate the initial results of the current analysis.


Seliger C, Schaertl J, Gerken M, et al. Use of statins or NSAIDs and survival of patients with high-grade glioma. PLoS One. 2018;13(12):e0207858.