- A large meta-analysis finds no association between beta-blocker use and better clinical outcomes in breast cancer.
Why this matters
- Prior studies have suggested that beta-adrenoreceptor activation is involved in the pathogenesis and progression of many cancers.
- The inference from this evidence was that beta-blockers might be beneficial for breast cancer.
- However, this meta-analysis finds no benefit of beta-blocker use in breast cancer prognosis.
- Meta-analysis of 17 observational studies with 75,074 patients after search of PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library.
- Funding: None.
- No association (risk ratios) was found between beta-blocker use and:
- Breast cancer recurrence: 0.85 (P=.17).
- Breast-cancer-related mortality: 0.83 (P=.14).
- All-cause mortality: 1.01 (P=.91).
- Results were not affected by sample size, definition of beta-blocker use, follow-up duration, adjustment of menopausal status, or quality score.
- Subgroup analysis found that beta-blocker use did significantly reduce the risk ratio for breast cancer-related deaths by 19% in prospective studies (0.81; P=.05), but not in retrospective studies (1.06; P=.16).
- Half of studies were retrospective.
- All were observational.
- High heterogeneity across studies.