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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Medication negatively impacts survival rates in advanced breast cancer

Health Industry Hub | September 30, 2020 |

Pharma News: New research led by Flinders University has found a link between beta-blockers and survival outcomes in some breast cancer patients.

Beta-blockers, commonly used to manage cardiovascular disease, were negatively associated with survival outcomes in patients with HER2 (Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2) positive advanced breast cancer (ABC) , according to a new paper in the Frontiers In Oncology.

Of the 2,777 patients with HER2 positive ABC, 266 were using a BB at the time of anti-HER2 therapy initiation. BB use was associated with worse overall survival (OS) (adjusted HR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.04–1.55). Sensitivity analysis in patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) also indicated that BB use was associated with worse OS (1.29, 1.02–1.63).

“The research highlights a group of breast cancer patients whose survival outcomes are profoundly poorer,” said Professor of Clinical Pharmacology Michael Sorich, director of the Precision Medicine Group at Flinders University’s College of Medicine and Public Health

“Given about 20% of breast cancer patients overexpress HER2 – and cardiovascular toxicities are a known complication anti-HER2 therapies – this study importantly identifies a subgroup of patients in which we recommend further investigation to find strategies to improve treatment outcomes.”

The research concluded “Future research should aim to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of beta-blockers on specific breast cancer subtypes, cancer types, and cancer treatments.”


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