Beta-adrenergic receptors are expressed across diverse cancers

Steven L. Rains1, Clarissa N. Amaya1 and Brad A. Bryan1

1Department of Biomedical Sciences, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX, USA

Correspondence to:

Brad A. Bryan, email: brad.bryan@ttuhsc.edu

Keywords: beta adrenergic, beta blocker, cancer

Received: May 12, 2017     Accepted: June 23, 2017     Published: August 23, 2017


Based largely on retrospective analyses and a handful of prospective case reports, pharmacological inhibition of the beta adrenergic receptors using beta blockers has shown clinical anti-cancer efficacy in reproductive cancers, as well as angiosarcoma and multiple myeloma. Because of the potential promise of beta blockers as an adjunct to standard anti-cancer therapy, it is imperative to identify other tumor types expressing beta adrenergic (β-AR) receptors so future preclinical and clinical studies can be directed at the most promising tumor targets. We performed immunohistochemical detection of β1-AR, β2-AR, and β3-AR across 29 of the most common human cancer types (389 tissues total) and 19 matching non-diseased controls (100 tissues total). Our analysis revealed all three β-AR receptors were expressed most strongly in melanoma relative to other cancer types. Other malignancies that revealed relatively higher levels of β-AR receptors were esophagus, pancreas, kidney, and lung cancers. Moreover, particular β-AR receptors exhibited significant overexpression in tumor tissue relative to their matching normal tissue in urogenital/reproductive malignancies including breast, endometrium, ovarian, and urothelial cancer, as well as colon, lung, and thyroid cancer. This study identifies several cancer types expressing the β-AR receptors which should be evaluated in future studies for susceptibility to beta blockade.

PII: 357