Heart Medicine May Fight Ovarian Cancer In Women

Posted: Aug 24 2015, 6:58am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Heart Medicine May Fight Ovarian Cancer in Women
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It has been found out that a certain type of heart medicine may fight ovarian cancer in women.

Certain drugs that are good for the heart may also be excellent for relief from cancer. Cancer patients may gain respite from the dreaded disease provided they take beta blockers.

Stress is a crucial factor in the epidemiology of cancer. Beta blockers which fight hypertension are an ideal way of blocking the stress response.

In fact, the progression of cancer may be halted in its tracks. That is thanks to anti-hypertensive medication.

The study spanned the noughties. It tested 1425 women.

These ladies were being treated for ovarian cancer. 193 of them were also receiving beta blockers. Those taking broad or non-selective beta blockers received the most benefits. That is of the anti-hypertensive medicine.

"We found that patients taking a broad, or nonselective, beta blocker were the ones who derived the most benefit compared with those who were not taking a beta blocker or those who were taking a beta-1-selective medication," said Dr. Sood.

The same effect was not seen in those females who were taking the selective type of medicine. Survival rates were much higher for those taking non-selective beta blockers.

This finding is of great significance. And those with high blood pressure tended to be susceptible to the deadly effects of the cancer. Those with their hypertension under control seemed to be protected from the ovarian cancer.

"Some of the prior studies have had conflicting data regarding the use of beta blockers and cancer patient outcomes. This may, in part, be since the type of beta blocker medication was not considered," said Dr. Sood.

"To our knowledge, the current study is the first to examine the relationships with patient outcomes based on specific types of beta blockers."

There have been previous studies of a similar bent of research. They have yielded the same results. Epithelial ovarian cancer was the disease which was studied. And the beta blockers used were standard heart medication.

Those taking first generation beta blockers had the highest survival rates. A lot of research has been done on the subject.

Beta blockers are the most used medicine in CVD prophylaxis. They provide relief in the majority of cases. Besides high blood pressure, they also treat a variety of other conditions.

These include heart disease, glaucoma and migraine headaches. The heart muscle is manipulated by the action of these drugs. They decrease the stress response of the cardiac muscle.

"Beta-blockers treat a variety of conditions, such as heart disease, high-blood pressure, glaucoma and migraines. They target a receptor protein in heart muscle that causes the heart to beat harder and faster when activated by stress hormones," Sood said.

"Our research has shown that the same stress mechanisms impact ovarian cancer progression, so these drugs could play a new role in cancer treatment."

According to Sood, "the usefulness of beta-blockers was unclear until now. The ability to show improved survival using nonselective agents - which inhibit a specific stress pathway - is the culmination of years of research into ovarian cancer biology and pathogenesis."

Ovarian cancer and its progression could thus be stopped in its tracks. The only need of the day is a beta blocker. This find is interesting since it comes years after intensive research.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most deadliest cancer in females. It induces tumor growth in that particular region in women. And due to metastasis the search for a cure has been forestalled.

Yet all hope is not lost. With the discovery of the beta blockers connection, these survival rates may go up. That is in the years that are to come.

The findings published today in the journal CANCER.

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