Navigation Links
Common Heart Drug Might Improve Lung Cancer Survival

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that beta blockers, medications that are used to control blood pressure and heart rhythms, may also help lung cancer patients live longer.

The researchers found that patients with non-small-cell lung cancer being treated with radiation lived 22 percent longer if they were also taking these drugs.

"These findings were the first, to our knowledge, demonstrating a survival benefit associated with the use of beta blockers and radiation therapy for lung cancer," said lead researcher Dr. Daniel Gomez, an assistant professor in the department of radiation oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

"The results imply that there may be another mechanism, largely unexplored, that could potentially reduce the rates of tumor spread in patients with this very aggressive disease," he added.

The report was published Jan. 9 in the Annals of Oncology.

For the study, Gomez's team compared the outcomes of more than 700 patients undergoing radiation therapy for lung cancer.

The investigators found that the 155 patients taking beta blockers for heart problems lived an average of almost two years, compared with an average of 18.6 months for patients not taking these drugs.

The findings held even after adjusting for other factors such as age, stage of the disease, whether or not chemotherapy was given at the same time, presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and aspirin use, the researchers noted.

Beta blockers also improved survival without the disease spreading to other parts of the body and survival without the disease recurring, they added.

Beta blockers, however, made no difference in the length of survival without the disease progressing in the part of the lungs where it started, the study authors pointed out.

How beta blockers might slow cancer's spread isn't known. However, the researchers speculate that these drugs may work by suppressing a hormone called norepinephrine, which is known to promote the spread of cancer cells.

"Right now, we would not advocate that patients take beta blockers for this purpose, until these findings can be validated by prospective trials," Gomez said. "In addition, future studies will help us to understand if the mechanism that we propose is correct, and thus if beta blockers are indeed directly affecting the aggressiveness of this cancer or if these findings are due to the activation or inhibition of another pathway."

For one expert, the study raises more questions than it answers.

"It is unclear whether beta blockers need to be started before the cancer is found, or if they still have a utility once the diagnosis is made," said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

In addition, Horovitz wonders whether other drugs that block hormones might serve the same purpose.

One thing is clear, however, he added. People should not start taking beta blockers in hopes of preventing or controlling lung cancer, he said.

Horovitz did say he thinks trials testing whether or not beta blockers or other hormone-blocking drugs prevent the spread of lung cancer should be done.

Although the study found a link between beta blocker use in patients undergoing radiation therapy and increased non-small-cell lung cancer survival, it did not prove cause-and-effect.

More information

For more on lung cancer, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Daniel Gomez, M.D., assistant professor, department of radiation oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Len Horovitz, M.D., pulmonologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Jan. 9, 2013, Annals of Oncology

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Researchers reveal most effective treatment for common kidney disorder
2. Binge Drinking Common Among U.S. Women, Girls: CDC
3. Researchers identify new target for common heart condition
4. Common Blood Pressure Drugs Might Lower Dementia Risk
5. Psychological common ground could ease tensions among those with different religious beliefs
6. What do cyborgs, shale gas and TSCA reform have in common?
7. Common data determinants of recurrent cancer are broken, mislead researchers
8. Dr. Alavi Responds to Common Plastic Surgery Myths
9. Car Crashes Common for Sleepy Doctors in Training: Study
10. Probiotic Action Responds to Article Answering Common Questions About Acne
11. Some Kids Abusing Common Baking Ingredients
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Common Heart Drug Might Improve Lung Cancer Survival
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand ... project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s ... within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... athletes and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as ... City area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article ... people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now ... of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to ... , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there ... my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, an orthodontist ... has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic Suresmile technology, ... , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It can be used ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 , , , WHEN: ... 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, ... , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global ... Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager ... pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LONDON , June 23, 2016 ... environments  Oticon , industry leaders in ... the launch of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s ... world of possibilities for IoT devices.      ... Opn, Oticon introduces a number of ,world firsts,: ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... Analysis (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, ... offering. Surgical Procedure ... planners, provides surgical procedure volume data in a geographic ... in-depth analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including world ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: