Overall survival in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer was improved by using a nonselective beta-blocker, according to a retrospective analysis of patient records.

Jack Watkins, Pharm.D., and his associates analyzed the 2000-2010 medical records of 1,425 women who were treated at several different medical centers for ovarian cancer and found that 193 of the women were taking beta1-adrenergic receptor selective agents and 76 were receiving nonselective beta antagonists. The median survival time of the 269 patients who received any beta-blocker was 47.8 months and 42 months for nonusers. However, patients who received the beta1-adrenergic selective beta-blocker had a shorter median survival time at 38 months. Patients who received a nonselective beta-blocker had a median survival rate more than twice as long as the control group at nearly 95 months.

Hypertension did significantly decrease overall survival, but patients taking the nonselective beta-blocker still had an overall survival much higher than nonusers, with median survival times of 90 months and 38.2 months, respectively. Patients in the nonselective beta-blocker group also tended to have a higher body mass index and disease stage, and were more likely to be hypertensive.

“Beta-blockers could then be used as an adjuvant therapy during surgical recovery and chemotherapy to decrease tumor angiogenesis, tumor growth, delays in wound healing, and metastasis. Beta-blockers also may reduce cancer-related psychological distress in patients newly diagnosed with cancer,” the investigators noted.

Find the full study in Cancer ( doi: 10.1002/cncr.29392 ).



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