In a study conducted last year, women with breast cancer exposed to beta blocker drugs were apparently less likely to die after many years of treatment. With the same objective, scientists from the Cancer Research UK are gauging if beta-blockers could help in prohibiting breast cancer metastasis and increasing the survival rate.
The investigators wished to gauge the efficacy of beta blocker drugs that are usually consumed for high blood pressure and anxiety prior to and during breast cancer treatment. The findings show a biological mechanism through which beta blockers can stop the mobility of cancer cells and thus prevent its spread.
Dr Des Powe, Cancer Research UK-funded scientist from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, explained, “Cancer can be thought of as having two distinct phases – before and after the disease has spread. Many women will be successfully treated for their initial breast tumour but in some, the original tumour leaves a legacy – a daughter of the primary cancer. This means cells leave the original tumour and move around the body in a process called metastasis.”
This analysis will inform the experts if clinical trials would work and also help locate the beta-blocker that works best. The scientists believe that since beta blockers are already in use by many, this revelation may help save many lives. The study results are touted to arrive next year.
Initial noteworthy outcomes were presented during the breast cancer awareness month at the Royal Society of Medicine.