Statin use reduces radiation-induced stroke risk in advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients

Chuan Yi Lin, Chia Lun Chang, Kuan Chou Lin, Wan Ming Chen, Ben Chang Shia, Po Hsiu Kuo, Szu Yuan Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This cohort study aimed to evaluate the impact of statin use on ischemic stroke risk in patients with advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) undergoing standard concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT). Methods: Using data from the Taiwan Cancer Registry Database, we conducted an inverse probability of treatment-weighted Cox regression analysis to examine the association between statin use during CCRT and ischemic stroke risk. Results: The adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) for ischemic stroke in the statin group compared to the non-statin group was 0.70 (95 % CI: 0.54–0.92; P < 0.0107). This protective effect was observed across different statin classes, with hydrophilic statins such as pravastatin showing an aHR of 0.37 (95 % CI: 0.17–0.85) and lipophilic statins including atorvastatin displaying an aHR of 0.32 (95 % CI: 0.21–0.50) compared to non-statin use. Analysis of cumulative defined daily doses (cDDD) revealed a dose–response relationship, with lower stroke risk observed in higher quartiles of cDDD. Additionally, patients with a daily defined dose (DDD) > 1 had a reduced risk of stroke with an aHR of 0.49 (95 % CI: 0.31–0.63), while those with DDD ≤ 1 showed an aHR of 0.59 (95 % CI: 0.40–0.84). Conclusions: Our study provides evidence supporting the beneficial effects of statin use during the CCRT period in reducing radiation-induced stroke risk among patients with advanced NPC undergoing definitive CCRT. Notably, pravastatin and atorvastatin demonstrated significant reductions in stroke occurrence. Furthermore, the findings suggest a dose–response relationship, where higher cumulative doses and greater daily dose intensity of statin use were associated with a lower risk of stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110067
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Concurrent chemoradiotherapy
  • Dose–response relationship
  • Nasopharyngeal cancer
  • Radiation induced stroke
  • Statin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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