Metastasis is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) regulate invasion and metastasis. Several VGSC-inhibiting drugs reduce metastasis in murine cancer models.
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We aimed to test the hypothesis that patients taking VGSC-inhibiting drugs who developed cancer live longer than those not taking these drugs. A cohort study was performed on primary care data from the QResearch database, including patients with breast, bowel or prostate cancer. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to compare the survival from cancer diagnosis of patients taking VGSC-inhibiting drugs with those not exposed to these drugs. Median time to death was 9. 7 years in the exposed group and 18. 4 years in the unexposed group, and exposure to these medications significantly increased mortality. Thus, exposure to VGSC-inhibiting drugs associates with reduced survival in breast, bowel and prostate cancer patients. This finding is not consistent with the preclinical data. Despite the strengths of this study including the large sample size, the study is limited by missing information on potentially important confounders such as cancer stage, co-morbidities and cause of death. Further research, which is able to account for these confounding issues, is needed to investigate the relationship between VGSC-inhibiting drugs and cancer survival.
Scientific reports. 2015 Nov 18*** epublish ***
Caroline Fairhurst, Ian Watt, Fabiola Martin, Martin Bland, William J Brackenbury
Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK, YO10 5DD. , Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK, YO10 5DD. , Hull York Medical School, York, UK, YO10 5DD. , Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK, YO10 5DD. , Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK, YO10 5DD.