An Israeli-led study has shown that a combination of beta blockers and anti-inflammatory drugs can significantly reduce the risk of death in post-operative cancer through metastasis, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
Most cancer-related deaths are attributed to postsurgical metastatic recurrence, in which cells of primary tumors migrate to other parts of the body, ultimately causing fatal growths.
The research indicated beta blockers (used to control stress and high blood pressure) and an anti-inflammatory used together were found effective in lowering mortality rates, contrary to stiff skepticism within the medical establishment.
The new method was described as safe and inexpensive, costing about the same as aspirin, and free of contraindications.
“We’ve taken an unconventional approach, deviating from the current medical dogma that refrains from intervening during the short period surrounding cancer surgery – no chemo, radiotherapy or immune therapy for at least three weeks before or after surgery,” Prof. Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu of Tel Aviv University’s Sagol School of Neuroscience,.
“Even within the medical establishment, we encountered some levels of disbelief and antagonism. But after conducting ample studies in animal models of cancer, and reviewing the medical literature, we came to the firm conclusion that maybe this is the most important period in the prevention of cancer recurrence.”
The study comprised 38 cancer patients at Sheba, Kaplan and Rabin medical centers in Israel. They were given Deralin (used to reduce blood pressure and anxiety) and Etopan (used to lower inflammation) – five days before their operations, the day of their surgery and five days after. Blood and tumor tissue samples were then analyzed using whole-genome, gene-expression profiling to identify all the RNAs expressed in malignant cells and leukocytes.
Larger-scale clinical trials are being planned.
Ben-Eliyahu was joined in the research by Prof. Steven Cole of the University of California at Los Angeles; Prof. Oded Zmora of Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer; Prof. Eran Sharon of Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus; and Prof. Tanir Allweis of Kaplan Medical Center.