Off-label drugs shown to increase colorectal cancer survival

After reviewing survival outcomes of almost 14,000 patients with colorectal cancer, those who were taking blood pressure drugs, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and thiazide diuretics all had increased survival and lowered mortality.

Colorectal cancer is booming! This year there will be more than 100,000 new cases of colon cancer and almost 50,000 cases of rectal cancer in the USA. It is growing particularly rapidly in the young.

A previous study in animals by Roger Chammas and colleagues at the University of Sao Paulo Cancer Center showed much the same results and this human study confirmed them.

Researchers took the SEER Medicare Data base and followed the outcomes of colorectal cancer patients over age 65, between Jan 1st 2007 and Dec 31st 2012. ACE inhibitors and the thiazide diuretics provided the highest levels of benefit but little benefit was found in calcium-channel blockers.

It didn’t seem to matter whether patients were stage I, II or III, the biggest benefits came with blood pressure drug usage. A key issue still remains: Is it something in the actual drug, or the benefit of lower blood pressure?  Basically though, higher doses of the ACE inhibitors, blood pressure drugs and thiazide diuretics, or longer-term use, meant greater survival times and lowered mortality.

The study was conducted by researchers at the UVA Cancer Center and the Universidade de Sao Paulo Instituto do Cancer do Estado de Sao Paulo. The study was published in the journal Cancer Medicine.

Research is currently taking place with these drugs and a number of different cancers. We will keep you updated.Off-l

Go to: How to build an off-label drugs protocol

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