Beta Blockers Extend Life in Melanoma Patients: Penn State Study

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Researchers at Penn State found that melanoma patients who received immunotherapy while taking a specific type of beta blocker lived longer than patients who received immunotherapy alone. In a follow-up experiment with mice, the researchers saw the same results. Dr. Todd Schell, professor of microbiology and immunology at Penn State College of Medicine, said that because beta blockers are already widely available, the findings -- published in the journal OncoImmunology -- could indicate a simple way for physicians to better treat their patients.

  • "The type of beta blocker we found to be effective against melanoma -- pan beta blockers -- was actually the least prescribed," Schell said. "Most patients are either prescribed beta 1 selective blockers or are not taking beta blockers at all. This means there's a large population of patients who may be eligible to take pan beta blockers while being treated with immunotherapy. And because beta blockers are already FDA approved, it's something we know is safe and can be very quickly implemented in patient care."
  • While there was little difference in how long patients taking beta 1-selective blockers or no beta blockers lived, the results indicate that patients taking pan beta blockers lived significantly longer than the others. Five years after immunotherapy, about 70 percent of patients receiving pan beta blockers were still alive, versus about 25 percent of those taking beta 1-selective blockers or no beta blockers at all.

"Beta Blockers May Boost Immunotherapy, Help Melanoma Patients Live Longer," https://www.dddmag.com/news/2018/01...t_cid=6229293&et_rid=449166332&linkid=content
 
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