Over60

Body

Aussie researchers find drugs that can stop breast cancer spreading

Aussie researchers find drugs that can stop breast cancer spreading

Australian researchers have made a major medical breakthrough in stopping the spread of breast cancer throughout the body.

Scientists at Monash University discovered that everyday anti-stress drugs known as beta-blockers could slow the spread of the deadly disease.

“We harnessed that knowledge by repurposing existing drugs. Our goal was to see if we could stop cancer cells spreading in the body,” Associate Professor Erica Sloan explained in a statement.

She said that the research team made the discovery after identifying that stress activates the "fight or flight" response in the body, which helps spread cancer through the body.

“We found that beta-blockers – which halt the stress response – stopped the cancer invading,” Professor Sloan said to 7NEWS.

A randomised trial was conducted with 60 women who were either given a beta-blocker called propanolol or a placebo.

The trial ran from the time of diagnosis to the time of surgery, and will now be conducted on a larger scale.

The larger trials are being run with the hope that anti-stress drugs could be prescribed to breast cancer patients in the future.