Digoxin Use Linked to Pancreatic Cancer Risk, But Does Not Affect Overall Survival

Sarfaroj Khan 

Disclosures

November 05, 2020

Takeaway

  • Digoxin use was associated with an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

  • However, no association was seen between digoxin use and overall survival.

Why this matters

  • Physicians should consider initiating digoxin therapy in patients with an increased baseline risk of pancreatic cancer.

Study design

  • A nested case-control study was conducted to evaluate the association between digoxin use and pancreatic cancer risk using The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database, UK (4113 cases with incident pancreatic cancer and 16,072 matched controls).

  • Moreover, a retrospective study was conducted to evaluate the association between digoxin use and overall survival.

  • Funding: National Center for Research Resources and others.

Key results

  • Active digoxin use was associated with an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer (adjusted OR [aOR], 1.41; 95% CI, 1.16-1.72; P=.001).

  • Digoxin use for >12 months was associated with a similar magnitude of pancreatic cancer risk increase (aOR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.11-1.76; P=.005).

  • Active digoxin use at the time of pancreatic cancer diagnosis had no effect on overall survival (adjusted HR [aHR], 0.97; 95% CI, 0.80-1.17; P=.75).

  • Digoxin use for >12 months was not associated with improved overall survival (aHR, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.90-1.37; P=.34).

  • Former use of digoxin also was not associated with a change in survival with an aHR to death of 0.76 (95% CI, 0.53-1.10; P=.15).

Limitations

  • No histopathology data included in THIN.

  • Risk of residual confounding and bias.

 

Boursi B, Huber JS, Haynes K, Mamtani R, Yang YX. Digoxin use is associated with pancreatic cancer risk but does not affect survival. Cancer Causes Control. 2020 Oct 16 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1007/s10552-020-01352-7. PMID: 33064241 View abstract

This clinical summary originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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