Archive for December, 2011

Treatment With B-Blockers and Reduced Disease Progression in Patients With Thick Melanoma

Hi there

I had never heard about this before but the stats are quite astounding. Let me know of you want a copy of the article.

regards

Ian

http://www.southernsun.com.au

 

Treatment With B-Blockers and Reduced Disease Progression in Patients With Thick Melanoma

Vincenzo De Giorgi, MD; Marta Grazzini, MD; Sara Gandini, PhD; Silvia Benemei, MD; Torello Lotti, MD; Niccolò Marchionni, MD; Pierangelo Geppetti, MD

Preclinical evidence shows that B-adrenoceptor antagonists (B-blockers) inhibit tumor and metastasis progression in animal models of melanoma. We hypothesized that the use of B-blockers for concomitant diseases is associated with a reduced risk of progression of thick (Breslow thickness >1 mm) malignant melanoma. Two patient subgroups were identified from the medical records of 121 consecutive patients with a thick melanoma. Of these, 30 patients had been prescribed B-blockers for 1 year or more (treated subgroup), whereas the other 91 were untreated. After a median follow-up time of 2.5 years, tumor progression was observed in 3.3% of the treated subgroup and in 34.1% of the untreated subgroup. The Cox model on progression indicated a 36% (95% confidence interval, 11%-54%) (P =.002) risk reduction for each year of B-blocker use. No deaths were observed in the treated group, whereas in the untreated group 24 patients died. To our knowledge, the present study suggests for the first time that exposure to B-blockers for 1 year or more is associated with a  reduced risk of progression of thick malignant melanoma, indicating the need for larger epidemiological studies and randomized clinical trials.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(8):779-78

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Smoking strongly associated with non-melanoma skin cancer in women

I came across this today which I found quite interesting:

Women who have non-melanoma skin cancers are more likely to have smoked cigarettes as compared to women without skin cancer, a new study has claimed.

Researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., investigated the relationship between cigarette smoking and non-melanoma skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC).

Smoking histories were assessed and compared between patients diagnosed with either BCC or SCC, or both, and a group of controls comprised of patients who were screened for skin cancers, but who were not diagnosed with and had no history of skin cancer.

The study’s 698 participants were recruited through Moffitt’s Lifetime Screening and Prevention Center and the University of South Florida’s Dermatology and Family Medicine Clinics.

The participants were asked about their smoking behaviours in terms of years smoked, how many cigarettes per day they smoked, and when those who once smoked quit smoking. The results were stratified by sex.

The results showed that cigarette smoking was associated with non-melanoma skin cancer overall, and that the risk increased with numbers of cigarettes per day, total years of smoking, and pack-years smoked.

Associations were particularly strong for SCC, with SCC being more than two times as likely in those who have smoked for 20 or more years compared to controls.

“Among men, positive associations with smoking of equal magnitude were observed for BCC and SCC, although none of the associations were statistically significant,” Dana E. Rollison, the lead author of the study, said.

“However, among women, smoking was not associated with BCC, while highly statistically significant associations were observed with SCC. Women with SCC were almost four times more likely than controls to have smoked for 20 or more years,” she said.

The researchers concluded that cigarette smoking was associated with non-melanoma skin cancer, and the risk increased with increasing dose (cigarettes per day) and number of years smoked.

The study has been recently published in Cancer Causes Control.

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