Navigation Links
Widely Used Heart Drugs Linked to Better Breast Cancer Outcomes
Date:6/1/2011

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Beta blockers -- safe, inexpensive drugs that have been used for decades by millions of people -- may eventually have a role in fighting breast cancer, according to two new studies.

One study suggests that women who are already taking beta blockers to lower blood pressure tend to be diagnosed with breast cancer at an earlier stage of the disease and to have better survival odds.

The second study finds that women who took a beta blocker while undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer had a lower risk of recurrence.

Both studies, whose authors declared no conflicts of interest, were released online May 31 in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

While the idea of dispensing a cheap drug with a good safety profile to women to combat breast cancer is enticing, these findings are hardly enough to recommend prescribing beta blockers such as propranolol (Inderal) for breast cancer, said an expert.

"These studies are hypothesis generating. I don't think they are definitive by any means in terms of what physicians and patients should go out and do tomorrow," said Dr. Lori Goldstein, director of the Breast Evaluation Center at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

On the other hand, women with breast cancer who are already taking this class of drugs need not worry that "it's going to jeopardize the care of their cancer," said Dr. Amal Melhem-Bertrandt, lead author of the second study.

Beta blockers basically work by damping down the effects of epinephrine and norepinephrine, both stress hormones.

These stress pathways may also be involved in the spread of breast cancer.

"There's a lot of literature out there that people under a lot of stress may have a higher incidence of their breast cancer recurring, meaning that the cancer may come back when they're under stress," said Melhem-Bertrandt, who is an assistant professor of breast medical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "We wanted to figure out if something [was] done pharmacologically to reduce epinephrine and norepinephrine, whether that would reduce the incidence of the cancer coming back."

The first study connected 2001-2006 data from a large national cancer registry in Ireland with additional information from a pharmaceutical database. The researchers, from Ireland and the United States, identified 70 women who were taking the beta blocker propranolol and another 525 taking a different beta blocker called atenolol (Tenormin) in the year before they were diagnosed with breast cancer; they were matched with a control group of more than 4,700 women with breast cancer who had not taken beta blockers. All of the women were 40 or older.

Women taking the beta blocker propranolol were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with advanced cancer or to die from breast cancer. The longer the woman used propranolol, the better her outlook.

There was no similar association with the beta blocker atenolol, the study authors noted.

But the results could have been skewed by the fact that women who end up in these databases are actually visiting their doctor and being prescribed medicine, said Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "They're more inclined to follow through with therapies and screening" and that might help explain their better prognosis, she said.

The researchers also cautioned that the propranolol group was so small that the results could have been due to chance, and that they needed to be confirmed in larger studies.

The authors of the second study went back to records on 1,413 women who had received chemotherapy for breast cancer and compared those who had been taking beta blockers to those who had not.

Overall, taking a beta blocker was associated with a 50 percent decrease in the cancer coming back but not overall survival, they found.

The benefit really seemed to be restricted to women with triple-negative breast cancer who had a 70 percent lower risk and who tend to have fewer options when it comes to treatments, said Melhem-Bertrandt.

Possible good news for all women, pointed out an accompanying editorial, is that these stress pathways can also be modified through lifestyle factors, such as weight management as well as curbing tobacco use.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on breast cancer.

SOURCES: Amal Melhem-Bertrandt, M.D., assistant professor, breast medical oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Stephanie Bernik, M.D., chief, surgical oncology, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Lori J. Goldstein, M.D., director, Breast Evaluation Center, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia; May 31, 2011, Journal of Clinical Oncology, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Results of physician cost profiling can vary widely, study finds
2. BUSPH researchers link widely used chemicals to ADHD in children
3. Stroke Prevention Treatment Varies Widely Across U.S.
4. Safety cultures in EMS agencies vary widely, Pitt study finds
5. Parents report a widely prescribed antibiotic is effective for fragile X treatment
6. Parkinsons disease: Excess of special protein identified as key to symptoms and possible new target for treatment with widely used anti-cancer drug imatinib
7. Ingredients in Red Yeast Rice Supplements Vary Widely: Study
8. High-Calorie Drinks Still Widely Sold in U.S. Elementary Schools
9. MRSA carriage rates vary widely in nursing homes, study finds
10. Widely used arthritis pill protects against skin cancer
11. Hospital Safety Varies Widely Nationwide: Report
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Widely Used Heart Drugs Linked to Better Breast Cancer Outcomes
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from ... at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center ... care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As ... with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine ... and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a ... such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain ... following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with ... Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty Network, affiliated with ... as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. , Dr. ... handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” He stands by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ITASCA, Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling ... states are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan ... , a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the ... rating to only four states – Kentucky , ... and Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, ... a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development ... patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical ... 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the ... quarter of 2016, and to report top line ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , ... kayla.belcher@frost.com ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  ... Sciences, Nitin Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: