Beta-blockers `cut cancer spread`

Updated: Mar 26, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The cancer patients who are taking beta- blockers drugs can reduce the spreading breast cancer, confirms a joint UK and German study. The drugs may block hormones that trigger the spread of cancer cells.

More evidence from bigger studies would be needed before the drug could be given as part of routine treatment. A large number of women gets affected by breast cancer in the UK each year.

The research shows that the ability of cancer cells to increase in number and spread is boosted by the presence of stress hormones.

Beta-blockers can attach on cancer cells used by the stress hormones to reduce their ability to stimulate the cell and to stop the cancer spread.

A test was conducted by Dr Des Powe, from Queen`s Medical Centre and Professor Frank Entschladen from Witten University to know more about thes cancer fighting drugs. This test included 466 breast cancer patients and they were divided into three categories.

The first group had high blood pressure and were taking beta-blockers, the second had high blood pressure, but were taking something different for it, while the third had no blood pressure problems.

The group which was taking beta-blockers had shown reduction in both cancer metastasis, and new tumours within the breast. So, they had a 71%less chances of dying from breast cancer compared with the other groups.

According to Dr Powe ,"It is reasonable to speculate, therefore, that some non-hypertensive women with breast cancer will respond favourably to beta-blocker treatment, though doses and side-effects would need to be investigated in clinical trials.", he was quoted by BBC as saying. V

"We are very encouraged by these first results which have already shown that by using a well-established, safe and cost effective drug, we can take another step on the road towards targeted therapy in breast cancer.”, he added.