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Use of Beta-Blockers Tied to Improved Lung Cancer Survival

Last Updated: January 11, 2013.

For patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, intake of beta-blockers is associated with improved survival, according to a study published online Jan. 8 in the Annals of Oncology.


Overall, distant metastasis-free, and disease-free survival all improved for patients with NSCLC

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FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), intake of beta-blockers is associated with improved survival, according to a study published online Jan. 8 in the Annals of Oncology.

To examine the association between beta-blocker use and survival, H.M. Wang, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed charts from 722 patients with NSCLC who received definitive radiotherapy. Among the patients, 155 were taking beta-blockers and 567 were not.

In univariate analysis, the researchers found that distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS), were significantly improved for patients taking beta-blockers compared to patients not taking beta-blockers. After adjustment for multiple variables, including age, Karnofsky performance score, stage, histology type, concurrent chemotherapy, radiation dose, gross tumor volume, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and aspirin use, there were significant correlations for beta-blocker intake with DMFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.67), DFS (HR, 0.74), and OS (HR, 0.78). In univariate or multivariate analysis, locoregional progression-free survival was not improved for patients taking beta-blockers.

"These findings are concordant with those of previous preclinical studies, suggesting that beta-blockers have specific effects on the metastatic cascade," the authors write. "Future prospective trials are needed to validate these retrospective findings and establish whether the length and timing of beta-blocker use influence survival outcomes."

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