Widely used blood pressure drugs may increase death risk in breast cancer

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In a recent study at Flinders University in Australia, researchers found a link between beta-blockers and survival outcomes in some breast cancer patients.

Beta-blockers, commonly used to manage high blood pressure, were linked to worse survival outcomes in patients with HER2 (Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2) positive advanced breast cancer.

The study is published in the Frontiers In Oncology. One author is Professor of Clinical Pharmacology Michael Sorich.

In the study, the team used data from 2,777 patients. They found worse survival outcomes for patients with HER2 positive advanced breast cancer who used beta-blocker drugs.

The findings highlight a group of breast cancer patients whose survival outcomes are profoundly poorer.

About 20% of breast cancer patients overexpress HER2, and cardiovascular toxicities are a known complication of anti-HER2 therapies.

This study importantly shows a subgroup of patients in which the team recommends further tests to find strategies to improve treatment outcomes.

The researchers say that 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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