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The deleterious association between proton pump inhibitors and prostate cancer-specific mortality – a population-based cohort study


Background — Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are commonly prescribed medications that have been shown to have contradicting effects on cancer. We aimed to investigate the effect of pantoprazole and other PPIs on prostate cancer (PCa) specific mortality (PCSM), use of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), and PCa diagnosis using a large Canadian population-based cohort.

Methods — We identified 21,512 men aged ≥ 66, with a history of a single negative prostate biopsy and no previous use of any of the analyzed medications between 1994 and 2016. Multivariable Cox regression models with time-dependent covariates were used to assess the associations of PPIs with PCa outcomes. All models included other medications with a putative chemopreventative effect on PCa-outcomes, and were adjusted for age, rurality, comorbidity, and study inclusion year.

Results — Over a mean follow-up of 8.06 years (SD 5.44 years), 10,999 patients (51.1%) used a PPI, 5187 patients (24.1%) had PCa, 2043 patients (9.5%) were treated with ADT, and 805 patients (3.7%) died from PCa. For every 6 months of cumulative use, pantoprazole was associated with a 3.0% (95% CI 0.3–6.0%) increased rate of ADT use, while any use of other PPIs was associated with a 39.0% (95% CI 18.0–64.0%) increased risk of PCSM. No association was found with PCa diagnosis.

Conclusions — Upon validation of the potentially negative association of PPIs with PCa, PPI use may need to be reassessed in PCa patients.



Goldberg H, Mohsin FK, Saskin R, Kulkarni GS, Berlin A, Kenk M, Wallis CJD, Chandrasekar T, Klaassen Z, Saarela O, Penn L, Alibhai SMH, Fleshner N. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2020; 23(4):622-9. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

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