- Medical news & Guidelines
- Cardiology and CTVS
- Critical Care
- Diabetes and Endocrinology
- Laboratory Medicine
- Health news
- State News
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Andhra Pradesh
- Arunachal Pradesh
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli
- Daman and Diu
- Himachal Pradesh
- Jammu & Kashmir
- Madhya Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
- Uttar Pradesh
- West Bengal
- Medical Education
ARBs and ACE inhibitors could improve survival in pancreatic cancer
PHILADELPHIA - Pancreatic cancer is an extremely difficult cancer to treat. Notwithstanding many advancements in our understanding of the biology of pancreatic cancer, current treatments do not have much of an effect on prognosis. Unless it's caught early, which is rare, only about 10% of patients survive five years past diagnosis. However, new research that is the largest population-based...
PHILADELPHIA - Pancreatic cancer is an extremely difficult cancer to treat. Notwithstanding many advancements in our understanding of the biology of pancreatic cancer, current treatments do not have much of an effect on prognosis. Unless it's caught early, which is rare, only about 10% of patients survive five years past diagnosis. However, new research that is the largest population-based study of this question from Thomas Jefferson University shows that medications commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure may also improve survival in patients with pancreatic cancer. The results suggest a broader, prospective clinical trial is needed to confirm the results and potentially change clinical practice.
"Medications for hypertension do not have a lot of side effects – far fewer than chemotherapy, for example – and yet our data suggests that they might extend life in patients with pancreatic cancer," says first author Scott Keith, PhD, associate professor of Biostatistics at Thomas Jefferson University. "Clinical studies will be required to explore just how much these approved and inexpensive therapies can extend life, and our data make a strong case for investing in further research."
The researchers led by Dr. Keith and Vittorio Maio, a professor in the College of Population Health and managing director of the Asano-Gonnella Center for Research in Medical Education and Health Care at Jefferson, examined a dataset of 3.7 million adults living in Northern Italy. A total of 8,158 pancreatic cancer patients were identified between 2003 and 2011 from this region. The health records from this national database allowed the researchers to look at a patient's full medical record over time and match comparison groups by age, gender, additional medication usage and other variables. The team was able to compare pancreatic cancer patients to those who had taken hypertension medication in addition to their cancer therapy, and model or predict the risk of mortality by group.
Earlier research in animals suggested that ARB-type therapies – which include drugs such as valsartan and losartan – and ACE inhibitors – including benazepril, ramipril or Lisinopril – might slow pancreatic cancer growth. Several small clinical trials suggested the same effect, although the numbers of patients in those studies was too small to draw broad conclusions. These two medications interact with the angiotensin system, which is normally responsible for narrowing blood vessels, but have also been shown to interact with cancer-growth pathways.
Drs. Keith and Maio's analysis is the largest retrospective study to look at pancreatic patient survival as it relates to ARB- and ACE-inhibitor usage. That was possible because of the availability of a comprehensive, population-based longitudinal healthcare database from a public healthcare system.
Their results showed that the group of pancreatic cancer patients who also took ARB class of drugs had a 20% lower in risk of mortality, and a 28% lower risk for patients who had been treated with surgery for their cancer. Those taking the ACE inhibitors saw a 13% reduction in risk of mortality in the first three years after diagnosis.
"We can't predict how much these medications can extend life," says Dr. Maio. "A randomized clinical trial would be necessary to determine that benefit. But this data does suggest that people with pancreatic cancer who are taking ARB or ACE inhibitors are living longer than those who aren't."
"We think this data strongly support investing in a clinical study that could extend patient lives using an inexpensive, safe, medication," says Dr. Keith. "We will urge institutions, cancer organizations and the pharmaceutical industry to set up a collaborative and well-resourced initiative to study the potential therapeutic effect of these inexpensive antihypertensive medications on pancreatic cancer patients," added Dr. Maio.
This study was supported, in part, by an Institutional Research Grant (IRG-08-060-04) from the American Cancer Society. The authors report no conflicts of interest.
Hina Zahid Joined Medical Dialogue in 2017 with a passion to work as a Reporter. She coordinates with various national and international journals and association and covers all the stories related to Medical guidelines, Medical Journals, rare medical surgeries as well as all the updates in the medical field. Email: email@example.com. Contact no. 011-43720751