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Diuretics, beta-blockers may increase risk of adverse breast cancer outcomes

06 Dec 2017

Exposure to diuretics and beta-blockers appears to carry some risk of adverse breast outcomes in older women, as shown in a study.

Drawing data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End-Results–Medicare database, the study included 14,766 women aged 66 to 80 years diagnosed with incident stage I/II breast cancer.

Time-varying Cox proportional hazard models were used to investigate outcomes—including a second breast cancer event (SBCE; a composite of a recurrence or a second contralateral primary breast cancer), breast cancer recurrence and breast cancer-specific mortality—in relation to the patients’ postcancer use of various antihypertensive medications.

Of the patients, 791 had SBCEs, 627 had breast cancer recurrences and 237 died due to their disease over a median follow-up of 3 years. Risks of these outcomes increased by 29 percent (95 percent CI, 1.10 to 1.51), 36 percent (1.14 to 1.63) and 51 percent (1.11 to 2.04), respectively, among diuretic users (n=8,517) vs nonusers.

Among beta-blocker users (n=7,145), the risk of breast cancer–specific death was higher by 41 percent (1.07 to 1.84) relative to nonusers.

Other blood pressure-lowering medications such as angiotensin II receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were not associated with risks of breast cancer outcomes.

The present data should provide some reassurance that majority of the commonly prescribed antihypertensive medications are safe for older survivors in terms of breast cancer outcomes, researchers said. However, further studies are warranted to clarify and confirm the positive associations between diuretics and beta-blockers and risks of adverse breast cancer outcomes observed in this study.

“Given the increasing number of available antihypertensive medications, characterization of potential relationships between use of [these] medications and adverse breast cancer outcomes may help clinicians and women with breast cancer weigh the benefits and risks of different treatment options when managing hypertension,” they added.

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Most Read Articles
29 Nov 2017
Rapid onset opioids may allow for more effective treatment of breakthrough cancer pain as their pharmacokinetic profile closely mimics the pain’s time course
Christina Lau, 22 Oct 2015
A 21-gene expression assay can identify patients with early-stage breast cancer who can skip adjuvant chemotherapy without facing an increased risk of recurrence at 5 years.
Elvira Manzano, 13 Sep 2017
Tisagenlecleucel, now US FDA approved, has made history as the first ever chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) – a breakthrough that has the potential to transform treatment for blood cancers that have not responded to standard therapies.
Naomi Adam, 01 Apr 2014

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide and its incidence is rising among Asians. Long-term survival outcomes are poor for CRC because patients often remain undiagnosed until the disease has reached an advanced stage. Panitumumab, a human IgG2 monoclonal antibody with high binding affinity for epidermal growth factor receptors, has shown encouraging results in the treatment of metastatic CRC (mCRC).