Beta-blocker (BB) is suggested to have anticancer efficacy. However, the potential influence of BB use on overall survival (OS) in patients with lung cancer remains undetermined. We aimed to evaluate the above relationship in an updated meta-analysis.
Observational studies comparing OS between users and non-users of BB with lung cancer were identified by search of PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane’s Library. A random-effect model was used to pool the results.
Ten retrospective cohort studies with 30870 patients were included. Overall, BB use was not associated with significantly improved OS in lung cancer (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.02, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.98 to 1.06, p = 0.33) with moderate heterogeneity (I2 = 29%). Stratified analyses showed similar results in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer, in studies with BB use before and after the diagnosis of lung cancer, and in studies with or without adjustment of smoking. Use of BB was associated with improved OS in patients with stage III lung cancer (HR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.85 to 0.98, p = 0.02) and in patients that did not receive surgery resection (HR = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.64 to 0.96, p = 0.02), while use of non-selective BB was associated with worse OS (HR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.28, p = 0.03).
This meta-analysis of retrospective cohort studies does not support a significant association between BB use and improved OS in lung cancer.