A trial of atorvastatin and hormone therapy for prostate cancer (SPECTRE)

Cancer type:

Prostate cancer




Phase 2

This trial was done to see if adding atorvastatin to hormone therapy can slow down the growth of prostate cancer. 

It was open for people to join between 2017 and 2019. The team analysed the results in 2020.

More about this trial

Doctors often use hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer. But sometimes the prostate cancer can continue to grow despite treatment.

Doctors wanted to see if using a drug called atorvastatin alongside hormone therapy can stop the cancer growing. Atorvastatin belongs to a group of medicines called statins. When this trial was done it was already being used as a treatment for raised cholesterol Open a glossary item

The main aim of this trial was to see if a combination of hormone therapy and atorvastatin slows down the growth of prostate cancer.

Summary of results

Trial design
This trial was for men who were having hormone therapy for prostate cancer, but their PSA level was rising.

They had atorvastatin once a day for 6 weeks, as well as hormone therapy. 

The research team measured their PSA level:

  • when they joined the trial
  • weekly during treatment
  • when they finished treatment

A total of 14 people joined this trial. The research team were able to look at the results for 12 of them.

The team looked at the change in PSA levels. They found the PSA level went down in just 1 person out of the 12 taking part (8%). 

Side effects
No one taking part had any side effects that were definitely caused by atorvastatin. 

Some people had side effects that may have been caused by atorvastatin, but could have been a coincidence. Many of these were mild or didn’t last long. They included tiredness, constipation and diarrhoea.

The research team found it hard to draw any firm conclusions because of the small number of people in the trial. But they say the results suggest that atorvastatin can stabilise PSA levels.

They suggest that more research is done. And that it would be useful to look at larger numbers of people taking atorvastatin for longer.

More detailed information
There is more information about this research on the website below. 

Combined Suppression Of Cholesterol Bioavailability And Androgen Deprivation Therapy To Treat Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer
EU Clinical Trials Register website
Accessed May 2024

Please note, this information is not plain English. It has been written for health care professionals and researchers.

Where this information comes from    
We have based this summary on the information in the article above. As far as we are aware, it has not been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) or published in a medical journal. We have not analysed the data ourselves. As far as we are aware, the link we list above is active and the information is free and available to view.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Hing Leung

Supported by

CRUK Glasgow Clinical Trials Unit 
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Prostate Cancer UK
University of Glasgow

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Last reviewed:

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