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"Despite recent improvements in radiotherapy and chemotherapy for non-small-cell-lung cancer, the prognosis of this disease is poor, with less than 15% of patients surviving for five years after diagnosis. A major cause of death is the process of metastasis, when cancer cells travel from the original tumor to other parts of the body. Therefore, we urgently need to find new ways of blocking the development of metastases in these patients.
Our results suggest that the use of beta-blockers during radiotherapy may help to prevent the formation of metastases, and could lead directly or indirectly to improved care for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer. As far as we are aware, our study is the first analysis to show a survival benefit associated with the use of beta-blockers during definitive radiotherapy in patients with NSCLC. However, prospective studies are needed to investigate these findings further and to discover whether improved survival is affected by when and for how long patients need to take beta-blockers. We are excited about using our study as a starting point for further investigations."
"Our findings agree with results from previous studies suggesting that beta-blockers have a specific effect on the cascade of events that lead to metastases. The fact that their use did not affect locoregional progression-free survival suggests that the drugs affect this metastatic cascade rather than the primary tumor."
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Improved survival outcomes with the incidental use of beta-blockers among patients with non-small-cell lung cancer treated with definitive radiation therapy
H.M. Wang, Z.X. Liao, R. Komaki, J.W. Welsh, M.S. O’Reilly, J.Y. Chang, Y. Zhuang, L.B. Levy, C. Lu and D.R. Gomez
Annals of Oncology January 9, 2013; DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mds616
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