A possible breakthrough has surfaced in the world of oncology, as it has been observed that beta blockers prolong the life of cancer patients, and might now undergo further research into their benefits. It might offer terminal patients up to four extra years of life that are incredibly precious to both them and their families.
Dr. Anil Sood from the University of Texas, reviewed the cases of over 1,400 women who were being treated for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) at various medical centers in between the years 2000 and 2010. It’s a first of its kind study and has come up with the conclusion that certain heart medication can boost survival time for patients.
While undergoing chemotherapy, 269 of the patients were on beta blockers, with 71.7% (or 193 patients) were on beta-1-adrenergic receptor, a selective beta blocker (SBBs), and the rest of 76 patients were on non-selective beta antagonists (NSBBs). It was found that those within the latter group benefitted much more and were given ample more time before the cancer claimed their lives.
The median survival time for those on non-selective beta blockers was of 94.9 months versus the 38 months for those who were taking more selective medication, such as ADRB1 agents. Furthermore, the average survival time for patients receiving any kinds of heart medication was of 47.8 months in comparison to the 42 months for non-users.
Any kind of beta blockers seemed to have increased the time cancer patients could live, even if the broad spectrum, non-selective heart medication has certain proved itself to be much more effective. Any amount of time is invaluable to the patients and their family, especially years worth.
According to the researchers, the heart medication effectively handle the body’s response to stress, which has been known to enhance the growing of the tumor. It’s also commonly used to treat hypertension and may aid in blood circulation. Therefore, using beta blockers can greatly influence the cancer’s progression.
There are reported side effects to the use of heart drugs that could put a stop to its use in cancer patients, but further study will certainly be coming sometime in the future, as it has been considered to aid in other types of tumors besides EOC.
Researchers will plan randomized trials to properly ascertain the potential of NSBBs on cancer that may help patients lengthen the time spent alive with their family and friends, and possibly acquire a few more precious years of life.
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