β-blockers: a novel class of antitumor agents
β-adrenergic signaling modulates key signaling pathways that are important for tumor-promoting processes, and numerous mechanisms of action have been elucidated. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that β-adrenergic antagonists, or β-blockers, can block multiple fundamental biologic processes underlying the progression and metastasis of tumors, including the inhibition of cell proliferation, migration, invasion, resistance to programmed cell death, and tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Human pharmacoepidemiologic studies suggest that β-blockers have a role in inhibiting cancer progression and metastasis in combination with standard therapies. Furthermore, a number of prospective studies have demonstrated that β-blockers are effective at halting infantile hemangioma growth. These findings shed light on the novel perspective of using β-blockers as a class of potential antitumor agents in clinical oncology.