Women with resistant breast cancer could benefit from the use of beta-blockers that are traditionally prescribed to help those with high blood pressure, new research has indicated.
The spread of breast cancer could be halted with the aid of these drugs, according to a group of experts led by Cancer Research UK scientist Dr Des Powe.
Over the course of a decade, the study revealed that death rates among UK breast cancer patients reduced by 70% among those who took beta-blockers.
Dr Powe said: “We are hypothesising that maybe some of these patients could have their cancer controlled by beta-blockers.”
It is thought that beta-blockers could potentially inhibit a molecular pathway which combines with oestrogen to fuel the growth of breast cancers.
The latest findings follow research published in the Oncotarget journal last year, which suggested that the chances of women dying several years after breast cancer surgery were reduced if they took beta-blockers prior to their operation.
- Powe D G, et al. Beta-Blocker Drug Therapy Reduces Secondary Cancer Formation in Breast Cancer and Improves Cancer Specific Survival. October 2010 1; 7.