Roswell Park Explores Stress Receptors as Possible Immune Checkpoint, Suggesting Role for Beta-Blockers in Cancer Treatment

Source: CISION PRWeb, April 2022

Combining a beta-blocker with the cancer immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab could be a promising new treatment option for many hard-to-treat solid-tumor cancers. Researchers from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center demonstrated the safety of this treatment combination in patients with advanced or metastatic melanoma In the first prospective clinical trial of this approach, and will report on a follow-on trial in progress Monday, April 11, at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2022.

A growing body of evidence suggests that stress-induced beta-2 adrenergic signals are independently dampening a variety of antitumoral immune responses and, in turn, functioning as an immune checkpoint.

Using propranolol — a nonselective beta-blocker commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure and other conditions — to inhibit these pathways seems to enhance the antitumoral immune response, the Roswell Park team notes. As more research sheds light on the potential of this approach, it may prove to be not only safe but also a highly cost-effective immune checkpoint inhibitor.