Given the median survival of 15 months after diagnosis, novel treatment strategies are needed for glioblastoma. Beta-blockers have been demonstrated to inhibit angiogenesis and tumor cell proliferation in various cancer types. The aim of this study was to systematically review the evidence on the effect of beta-blockers on glioma growth. A systematic literature search was performed in the PubMed, Embase, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Cochrane Central to identify all relevant studies. Preclinical studies concerning the pharmacodynamic effects of beta-blockers on glioma growth and proliferation were included, as well as clinical studies that studied the effect of beta-blockers on patient outcomes according to PRISMA guidelines. Among the 980 citations, 10 preclinical studies and 1 clinical study were included after title/abstract and full-text screening. The following potential mechanisms were identified: reduction of glioma cell proliferation (n = 9), decrease of glioma cell migration (n = 2), increase of drug sensitivity (n = 1), induction of glioma cell death (n = 1). Beta-blockers affect glioma proliferation by inducing a brief reduction of cAMP and a temporary cell cycle arrest in vitro. Contrasting results were observed concerning glioma cell migration. The identified clinical study did not find an association between beta-blockers and survival in glioma patients. Although preclinical studies provide scarce evidence for the use of beta-blockers in glioma, they identified potential pathways for targeting glioma. Future studies are needed to clarify the effect of beta-blockers on clinical endpoints including survival outcomes in glioma patients to scrutinize the value of beta-blockers in glioma care.

Beta-blockers, Glioma, Neurosurgery, Overall survival,
Neurosurgical Review
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Tewarie, I.A. (Ishaan Ashwini), Senders, J.T. (Joeky T.), Hulsbergen, A.F.C. (Alexander F. C.), Kremer, S. (Stijn), & Broekman, M.L.D. (2020). Beta-blockers and glioma: a systematic review of preclinical studies and clinical results. Neurosurgical Review. doi:10.1007/s10143-020-01277-4