Development and Evaluation of a Risk Assessment Tool to Increase Statin Use Among Cancer Survivors

Full Title

IIT: A Risk Communication Tool to Increase Statin Use among High Risk Cancer Survivors: Development and Pilot Testing


People who have been treated with radiation therapy to the chest for cancer or related illnesses may have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease later in life. There is some evidence that statin drugs, which are prescribed to treat high cholesterol, may be useful for improving heart function, reducing inflammation, and treating some of the damage associated with radiation exposure. It is not clear, however, how much cancer survivors know about their cardiovascular disease risk and the possible benefits of statin drugs.

Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering have designed a tool to assess how much survivors of childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancers and related illnesses know about statins. In this study, they are asking cancer survivors who had chest irradiation how well they think information about statin use is communicated.

Half of the participants will receive a standard discussion about the risks and benefits of statins during their usual care. The other half will receive a new statin communication tool, which is a handout summarizing the risks and benefits of therapy. All participants will be contacted again three months later to ask them about their statin use and the usefulness of the statin communication. The results of this study will be used to improve the communication about statins to survivors of cancer.


Participants in this study include survivors of childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancers and related illnesses in Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Adult Long-Term Follow-Up Program who received more than 2000 cGy of radiation to the chest/heart, completed treatment more than 10 years before entering the study, and are age 25 or older. Survivors who are already taking statins or have cardiovascular disease may not participate. Survivors who are currently being treated for second cancers may not participate.

For more information about this study, please contact Dr. Nirupa Raghunathan at 646-888-8092.