Beta-adrenergic blocking drugs in breast cancer: a perspective review.

Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St James's Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland.
rapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology, The 05/2012; 4(3):113-25. DOI: 10.1177/1758834012439738
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this review is to present the preclinical, epidemiological and clinical data relevant to the association between β-blockers and breast cancer progression. Preclinical studies have shown that β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) signalling can inhibit multiple cellular processes involved in breast cancer progression and metastasis, including extracellular matrix invasion, expression of inflammatory and chemotactic cytokines, angiogenesis and tumour immune responses. This has led to the hypothesis that the commonly prescribed class of β-AR antagonist drugs (β-blockers) may favourably impact cancer progression. A number of recent pharmacoepidemiological studies have examined the association between β-blocker exposure and breast cancer progression. The results from these studies have suggested a potential role for targeting the β-AR pathway in breast cancer patients. Larger observational studies are, however, required to confirm these results. Questions regarding the type of β-blocker, predictive biomarkers or tumour characteristics, appropriate treatment paradigms and, most importantly, efficacy must also be answered in randomized clinical studies before β-blockers can be considered a therapeutic option for patients with breast cancer.

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    ABSTRACT: Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), a catecholamine neurotransmitter degrading enzyme, is closely associated with neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, its role in cancer progression remains unknown. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissue arrays (n=254) were used to investigate the correlation between MAOA expression and clinicopathological findings. In vitro invasion and anoikis assays, and in vivo intrahepatic and lung metastasis models were used to determine the role of MAOA in HCC metastasis. Quantitative real-time PCR, western blotting, immunohistochemical staining and HPLC analysis were performed to uncover the mechanism of MAOA in HCC. We found that MAOA expression was significantly downregulated in 254 clinical HCC samples and was closely correlated with cancer vasoinvasion, metastasis and poor prognoses. We then demonstrated that MAOA suppressed norepinephrine/epinephrine (NE/E)-induced HCC invasion and anoikis inhibition, and uncovered that the effects of NE/E on HCC behaviors were primarily mediated through alpha 1A (ADRA1A) and beta 2 adrenergic receptors (ADRB2). In addition to the canonical signaling pathway, which is mediated via adrenergic receptors (ADRs), we found that ADR-mediated EGFR transactivation was also involved in NE-induced HCC invasion and anoikis inhibition. Notably, we found that MAOA could synergize with EGFR inhibitors or ADR antagonists to abrogate NE-induced HCC behaviors. Taken together, the results of our study may provide insights into the application of MAOA as a novel predictor of clinical outcomes and indicate that increasing MAOA expression or enzyme activity may be a new approach that can be used for HCC treatment.
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