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Beta Blockers

This meta-analysis provides evidence that beta blocker use can be associated with the prolonged survival of cancer patients, especially patients with early-stage cancer treated primarily with surgery. See study.

Non-small-cell lung cancer
This study which retrospectively reviewed 722 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received definitive radiotherapy (RT) concluded:
…this analysis demonstrated that the incidental use of beta-blockers in this group of patients with NSCLC was associated with improved DMFS [distant metastasis-free survival ], DFS [disease-free survival], and OS [overall survival] – but not with LRPFS [locoregional progression-free survival ] – after definitive treatment that included RT. These findings are concordant with those of previous preclinical studies, suggesting that beta-blockers have specific effects on the metastatic cascade.

Epithelial ovarian cancer
This multicenter review of 1425 women with epithelial ovarian cancer concluded:
Use of nonselective beta‐blockers in patients with EOC [ epithelial ovarian cancer ] was associated with longer OS [overall survival].

Colorectal cancer
In this large population‐based study, we found no significant association between beta blocker use and overall, CRC‐specific, and recurrence‐free survival. However, stage‐specific analysis showed that beta blocker use was associated significantly with a better prognosis in patients with stage IV CRC. Median overall and CRC‐specific survival time of patients with stage IV CRC who used beta blockers was 17 and 18 months longer, respectively. Thus, our results indicate that beta blocker use may be associated with better prognosis in advanced CRC.

Breast cancer

Propranolol: This study says: Propranolol was also shown to have an effect on metastasis to the brain – the other major site of interest in breast cancer. Choy et al assessed retrospective data that showed that for stage II breast cancer patients beta-blocker usage was associated with a significantly reduced risk of post-operative recurrence or distant metastasis…The recent studies outlined in this paper add to the weight of evidence to support the use of propranolol as an anti-metastatic agent in breast cancer… There remains a clear potential for propranolol to be useful in a range of other cancers, including angiosarcoma, melanoma, and retinal haemangioblastomas in von Hippel-Lindau disease.

Prostate cancer

Propranolol This study concluded…we observed reduced cancer-specific mortality among prostate cancer patients taking beta-blockers. However, we did not observe any effect of beta-blocker use on all-cause mortality in this meta-analysis. Taken together with studies in other cancer types and in preclinical models, our findings indicate a beneficial effect of beta-blockers on survival in patients with prostate cancer. Therefore, beta-blockers may be considered a promising therapeutic approach for adjuvant therapy in prostate cancer.

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