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Heart Medication May Offer Help in Fighting Cancer

As more studies show a commonly used heart medication may deliver promise in fighting certain forms of cancer, clinicians across the globe are pushing for more action to be taken on the possible repurposing of drugs currently on the market that are used to treat other conditions. The drug in question that has researchers so excited is a beta-blocker known as Propranolol. Typically prescribed to regulate irregular heartbeats, the drug has shown a great deal of promise in helping treat some forms of cancer.

The appeal of Propranolol for cancer treatment is multifaceted. The drug has been shown to be useful in helping stop metastatic spread of cancer cells. Evidence has shown that the drug used on its own or in conjunction with other treatments can reduce spread rather dramatically. What’s more, there is very little evidence of toxicity associated with its use.

Propranolol isn’t the only commonly prescribed medication that has shown promise in the fight against cancer. With that in mind, researchers have launched an international collaboration designed to promote further study into the use of existing non-cancer drugs in treatment protocols. While drug companies tend to devote little time and money into the prospect of repurposing drugs, researchers hope to uncover the evidence necessary to see those that may help cancer patients be seen in a new light by pharmaceutical companies and regulators.

While much work needs to be done before drugs like Propranolol might be prescribed on a regular basis for more than their initial purpose, work is active to pave the way. In the meantime, people who are diagnosed with cancer are strongly urged to work with their healthcare providers to determine the best possible treatment course for their unique circumstances. Treatment advice may vary based on the type of cancer detected, its stage and aggressiveness, among other factors.


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