The researchers looked at three groups of breast cancer patients: those who were already being treated for hypertension by beta-blockers, those whose hypertension was treated by other medications, and those who did not suffer from hypertension and were therefore not taking any treatment for it.
Forty-three of the 466 patients were already taking beta-blockers and, in this group, there were significant reductions in both distant metastasis and local recurrence. They also had a 71% reduced risk of dying from breast cancer compared with the other groups.
“We were also able to study the presence of one receptor for beta-blockers, β2AR, as a potential biomarker for predicting clinical response to beta-blocker treatment,” says Dr. Powe, a senior healthcare research scientist at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust, “but we did not find that this correlated directly to the outcome of treatment. We are currently looking at other target receptors as predictors of clinical outcome.”
Previous cell line laboratory studies have shown that beta-blockers work against various types of cancer because high levels of stress hormones in the tumour increase cell proliferation and migration (the movement of cells to other locations). “These effects are induced by the stress hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine acting on specific target receptors in a kind of lock and key fashion,” says Powe. “We sought to translate these laboratory findings into clinical research.”
MEDICA.de; Source: The European CanCer Organisation (ECCO)