Perioperative Beta-Blocker Supply and Survival in Women With Epithelial Ovarian Cancer and a History of Cardiovascular Conditions

Katrina Spilsbury, Karen M. Tuesley, Sallie-Anne Pearson, Michael D. Coory, Peter Donovan, Christopher B. Steer, Louise M. Stewart, Nirmala Pandeya, Susan J. Jordan

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Surgery for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) may activate stress-inflammatory responses that stimulate tumor growth and increase metastatic growth. Animal and in vitro studies have shown that inhibition of the catecholamine-induced inflammatory response via beta-adrenergic receptor blockade has antitumor potential in EOC. However, observational studies have reported mixed results. We assessed whether beta-blocker (BB) use at the time of primary ovarian cancer surgery was associated with improved survival in a large population-based study.

Using linked administrative data, a population-based cohort of 3,844 Australian women age 50 years or older with a history of cardiovascular conditions who underwent surgery for EOC was followed for survival outcomes. The average treatment effect of selective BB (SBB) and nonselective BB (NSBB) supply at the time of surgery on survival was estimated from a causal inference perspective using covariate-balanced inverse probability of treatment weights with flexible parametric survival models that allowed for time-varying survival effects.

Around the time of surgery, 560 (14.5%) women were supplied a SBB and 67 (1.7%) were supplied a NSBB. At 2 years postsurgery, the survival proportion was 80% (95% CI, 68 to 88) for women dispensed NSBBs at surgery compared with 69% (95% CI, 67 to 70) for women not supplied NSBBs. The survival advantage appeared to extend to at least 8 years postsurgery. No association was observed for women dispensed a SBB around the time of surgery.

Perioperative supply of NSBBs appeared to confer a survival advantage for women age over 50 years with a history of cardiovascular conditions. Long-term clinical trials are required to confirm these findings.

© 2022 by American Society of Clinical Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-275
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number2
Early online date24 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2023


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