Author(s): Powe DG, Voss MJ, Znker KS, Habashy HO, Green AR,
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Abstract Laboratory models show that the beta-blocker, propranolol, can inhibit norepinephrine-induced breast cancer cell migration. We hypothesised that breast cancer patients receiving beta-blockers for hypertension would show reduced metastasis and improved clinical outcome. Three patient subgroups were identified from the medical records of 466 consecutive female patients (median age 57, range 28-71) with operable breast cancer and follow-up (>10 years). Two subgroups comprised 43 and 49 hypertensive patients treated with beta-blockers or other antihypertensives respectively, prior to cancer diagnosis. 374 patients formed a non-hypertensive control group. Metastasis development, disease free interval, tumour recurrence and hazards risk were statistically compared between groups. Kaplan-Meier plots were used to model survival and DM. Beta-blocker treated patients showed a significant reduction in metastasis development (p=0.026), tumour recurrence (p=0.001), and longer disease free interval (p=0.01). In addition, there was a 57\% reduced risk of metastasis (Hazards ratio=0.430; 95\% CI=0.200-0.926, p=0.031), and a 71\% reduction in breast cancer mortality after 10 years (Hazards ratio=0.291; 95\% CI=0.119-0.715, p=0.007). This proof-of-principle study showed beta-blocker therapy significantly reduces distant metastases, cancer recurrence, and cancer-specific mortality in breast cancer patients suggesting a novel role for beta-blocker therapy. A larger epidemiological study leading to randomised clinical trials is needed for breast and other cancer types including colon, prostate and ovary.
This article was published in Oncotarget
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy