They are "first results," but they are promising. You've seen these words before, but heck, every discovery starts small....
Researchers from Great Britain and Germany, reporting at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona, revealed some very interesting findings from their "relatively small" study of breast cancer patients. First, their results support previous research findings that stress hormones play an active role in the spread of cancer cells. And second, that some commonly used beta blockers, by suppressing the reaction of stress hormones, can reduce the spread, or metastasis, of cancer cells.
How beta blockers work: Image: Wikispaces.com
Beta blockers are one class of treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure), various cardiac conditions, like angina, as well as severe social anxiety, performance anxiety, and PTSD. Though not typically used as a cancer inhibitor, the research of Dr. Des Powe, from Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, and Professor Frank Entschladen from Witten University in Germany indicate that it should be considered.
They tested three groups of breast cancer patients totalling 466 persons. The first group had high blood pressure and were being treated for it with beta blockers, the second had high blood pressure, but were taking another medication, and the third group did not have problems with blood pressure.
In the 43 breast cancer patients that were taking beta blockers, cancer metastasis was significantly reduced, as were new breast tumors, compared to the other two groups. In fact, the group taking beta blockers had a 71 percent lower chance of dying from breast cancer than the other two groups.
Yes, more research is necessary, but I think it's good that everyone be aware of this "small study," anyway.
Source: BBC News