Beta blockers could play a key role in saving a large number of lives, as scientists investigate a theory that the heart drug prevents breast cancer spreading.
A team from Cancer Research UK will present their findings at the Royal Society of Medicine today.
A study last year found that, out of 466 breast cancer patients, those taking beta blockers before their operation for breast cancer were less likely to die several years after their treatment. Now sicentists want to know why.
While only around 30% of breast cancers spread, these account for up to 90% of all deaths from the disease
Dr Des Powe, from Nottingham University Hopsitals NHS Trust, said: “Many women will be successfully treated for their initial breast tumour but in some, the original tumour leaves a legacy – a daughter of the primary cancer. This means cells leave the original tumour and move around the body in a process called metastasis.
“It is absolutely crucial to conquer cancer spread if we are to really improve breast cancer survival as this problem causes nearly all deaths from the disease.