A trial using a drug with hormone therapy to stop prostate cancer from spreading (SPECTRE)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Prostate cancer




Phase 2

This trial is looking to see if adding a drug called atorvastatin alongside hormone therapy can slow down the growth of prostate cancer.

More about this trial

Hormone therapy is a common treatment for prostate cancer. But sometimes the prostate cancer can continue to grow despite the hormone therapy.

Doctors have found that adding a type of drug called an atorvastatin alongside hormone therapy can delay the cancer from growing. Atorvastatin belongs to a group of medicines know as statins.

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

Who can enter

The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this trial. Talk to your doctor or the trial team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you.

You may be able to join this trial if all of the following apply. You

  • Have prostate cancer and your PSA levels Open a glossary item have increased on 3 separate occasions
  • Have been having ongoing hormone therapy or you have had an orchiectomy.  Open a glossary itemYou may be able to carry on taking abiraterone acetate or enzalutamide during treatment
  • Have not taken any statins or other drugs to lower your cholesterol within 28 days of starting the trial treatment
  • Are able to swallow tablets
  • Have satisfactory blood test results
  • Are aged over 18 years

You cannot join this trial if any of these apply. You

  • Have prostate cancer that is getting worse and causing symptoms or the cancer spread can be seen on x-rays or scans
  • Are due to have any drugs as part of another trial within 28 days of having your first dose of atorvastatin
  • Have major surgery within 28 days of joining  the trial
  • Have radiotherapy or surgery planned in the 6 weeks after starting in this trial
  • Have planned to start a treatment that affects your whole body (systemic treatment) such as chemotherapy in the 6 weeks after starting atorvastatin
  • Have uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Have advanced heart failure or severe liver failure
  • Have a condition that affects your body from absorbing drugs
  • Are sensitive to statins
  • Are on blood thinning medication such as Warfarin for blood clots
  • Take very strong painkillers to control pain from your cancer
  • Have any other serious medical condition or mental health problem that the trial team think could affect you taking part

Trial design

This is a phase 2 trial. The researchers need up to 40 men to take part.

You take atoravastatin tablets daily for 6 weeks.

There are some medications you need to avoid whilst taking avorstatin such as the antibiotics clarithromycin and erythromycin.  Some other drugs can also increase or decrease the way atoravastatin works. The trial team will give you more information about this.

Samples for research
During the trial you need to give 7 extra blood samples. These samples are to be used to develop specific tests to monitor prostate cancer. Where possible these will be taken at the same time as any other blood tests (such as the test to check your PSA level).

The team may also need 2 samples of your prostate cancer (biopsies Open a glossary item) for research. Your doctor will let you know if you need to have a biopsy. You can decide if you want to have the biopsies done. If you give consent to provide these samples you would have 1 biopsy before you start the trial and another 5 to 7 weeks later. 

Hospital visits

You go to clinic once a week for 7 weeks. The doctor will check if you are well and you have some blood tests.

To help make sure the measurements from the blood tests are accurate, you must not eat or drink anything except water for 8 to 10 hours before your visit.

Where possible the trial team will make your clinic appointments for the morning.

Once you have finished taking atoravastatin, you go to clinic 4 weeks later. 

Side effects

You may have side effects from taking atorvastatin. The most common are

  • inflammation of nasal passages, pain in throat and nose bleeds
  • high blood sugar
  • headaches
  • pain in the back of the mouth and voice box
  • constipation
  • passing wind
  • indigestion Open a glossary item
  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • diarrhoea
  • muscle pain
  • joint pain
  • back pain

We have information about having a needle (TRUS) biopsy.

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

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Prostate Cancer UK
University of Glasgow

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.

Keith took part in a trial looking into hormone therapy

A picture of Keith

"Health wise I am feeling great. I am a big supporter of trials - it allows new treatments and drugs to be brought in.”

Last reviewed:

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