Administration of beta blockers in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma may be associated with a reduced risk of cancer-specific death and overall mortality, according to a study published in the American Journal of Hematology.1

A preclinical study demonstrated the antiproliferative and apoptotic effect of propranolol, a beta blocker, on multiple myeloma cells, and clinical studies have suggested that beta blockers may impact prognosis of various cancer types.

Therefore, researchers sought to retrospectively evaluate the effect of beta blockers on multiple myeloma-specific survival and overall survival.

Continue Reading

For the study, investigators analyzed data from 1971 patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who received care at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, between 1995 and 2010.

Of those, 47.2% had no intake of cardiac medications, 13.2% used beta blockers alone, 17.4% used both beta blockers and non–beta blocker cardiac medications, and 22.2% had non–beta blocker cardiac drugs.

Results showed that users of beta blockers only had a 47% reduced risk of disease-specific death compared with patients without any cardiac drugs (hazard ratio [HR], 0.53; 95% CI, 0.42-0.67; P <.0001) and a 51% reduced risk of cancer-specific death vs non–beta blocker cardiac drug users (HR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.38-0.63; P <.0001).

In addition, patients on both beta blockers and other cardiac drugs had a 46% (HR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.44-0.67; P <.0001) and a 50% (HR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.40-0.62; P <.0001) reduced risk of disease-specific mortality compared with noncardiac drug users and non–beta blocker cardiac drug users, respectively.

There was no significant difference in multiple myeloma disease-specific survival between beta blockers users with and without other cardiac agents (P =.90). Similar patterns were observed with respect to overall survival.


  1. Hwa YL, Shi Q, Kumar SK, et al. Beta-blockers improve survival outcomes in patients with multiple myeloma: a retrospective evaluation. Am J Hematol. 2016 Nov 18. doi: 10.1002/ajh.24582. [Epub ahead of print]