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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015;16(18):8031-9.

β-Adrenergic Receptors : New Target in Breast Cancer.

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Department of Internal Medical Oncology, Harbin Medical University Cancer Hospital, Heilongjiang Province, China E-mail :;



Preclinical studies have demonstrated that β-adrenergic receptor antagonists could improve the prognosis of breast cancer. However, the conclusions of clinical and pharmacoepidemiological studies have been inconsistent. This review was conducted to re-assess the relationship between beta-adrenoceptor blockers and breast cancer prognosis.


The literature was searched from PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Nature (Thompson Reuters) databases through using key terms, such as breast cancer and beta- adrenoceptor blockers.


Ten publications met the inclusion criteria. Six suggested that receiving beta- adrenoceptor blockers reduced the risk of breast cancer-specific mortality, and three of them had statistical significance (hazard ratio (HR)=0.42; 95% CI=0.18-0.97; p=0.042). Two studies reported that risk of recurrence and distant metastasis (DM) were both significantly reduced. One study demonstrated that the risk of relapse- free survival (RFS) was raised significantly with beta-blockers (BBS) (HR= 0.30; 95% CI=0.10-0.87; p=0.027). One reported longer disease-free interval (Log Rank (LR)=6.658; p=0.011) in BBS users, but there was no significant association between overall survival (OS) and BBS (HR= 0.35; 95% CI=0.12-1.0; p=0.05) in five studies.


Through careful consideration, it is suggested that beta-adrenoceptor blockers use may be associated with improved prognosis in breast cancer patients. Nevertheless, larger size studies are needed to further explore the relationship between beta-blocker drug use and breast cancer prognosis.

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