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Cancer-Fighting Heart Meds
Beta-blockers have long been used to lower blood pressure; soon they may also extend the lives of women with ovarian cancer, which is responsible for more deaths than any other female reproductive system cancer. A recent study found that patients with ovarian-related cancers who took beta-blockers during chemo survived an average of 47 months versus 42 for those who didn't use them. And those taking a specific version that targets multiple beta-receptors had a median survival of about 95 months. "Beta-blockers dampen the effects of stress hormones, which fuel the progression of cancer," explains principal investigator Anil Sood, MD, a professor of gynecologic oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. While it's too early to recommend heart meds for ovarian cancer patients, "the drugs could be ready for prime time if they continue to show promise," says Sood.