Beta blockers may extend ovarian cancer survival

US researchers have proposed a novel role for beta blockers after discovering that the decades-old drug class may extend survival time in ovarian cancer patients by more than four years.

The average survival time for ovarian cancer patients taking non-selective beta blockers, such as propranolol, on top of standard chemotherapy was 95 months, compared with only 42 months in patients receiving chemotherapy alone, according to a retrospective study of more than 1400 patients with epithelial ovarian cancer from four US clinics.

The patients were mainly taking beta blockers for hypertension, but