Melanoma – life saving information
A commonly used drug called a pan-beta-blocker that is normally used to prevent heart attacks and control high blood pressure has been recently found to help melanoma patients live longer. This is fantastic news indeed! This new study was published online in December 2017 in OncoImmunology.
Researchers discovered that melanoma patients who received immunotherapy drugs while taking a specific type of beta blocker (pan beta blocker) lived longer than patients who received immunotherapy alone.
Study results found that in 195 patients with widespread (metastatic) melanoma who were treated with immunotherapy drugs, the 5-year survival rate was around 70% for the group receiving pan-β-blockers versus about 25% for the groups taking β1-selective blockers or no β-blockers at all. So, you have to be prescribed the correct type of beta blocker.
An example of a pan beta blocker is the drug named Propranolol. Beta blockers are already government approved drugs worldwide so their use for metastatic melanoma can be very quickly implemented in patient care. Beta blockers have been used in medicine for many years, are inexpensive and widely available; they are also very safe drugs.
The new immunotherapy drugs for melanoma are in themselves a wonderful breakthrough, but they don't work for everyone. So, to make immunotherapy drugs work better we can use the study results that showed for patients taking pan beta blockers with them, there was a dramatic improvement in survival. Reassuringly the researchers were able to duplicate these exact findings in mice.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.