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Non-selective beta-blockers as potential coadjutants for the treatment of prostate cancer
1 , 2 , 3, 4 , 5 , * 2
1  Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193, Aveiro, Portugal
2  Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
3  Cardiff University, School of Biosciences, Museum Avenue, CF10 3AX Cardiff - Wales, United Kingdom
4  CIIMAR – Terminal de Cruzeiro do Porto de Leixoes, Av. General Norton de Matos S/N, 4450-205 Matosinhos, Portugal
5  CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials and Department of Medical Sciences, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Academic Editor: Jean Jacques Vanden Eynde


Prostate cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer worldwide, and the second cause of cancer death in men. Currently available treatments are not always effective. For that reason, new treatment options need to be explored, which may include the use of drugs, already clinically available, for the treatment of other conditions, such as b-blockers. The present study aimed to explore the effects of several b-blockers and cytostatic drugs in prostate cancer cell lines (22RV1, LNCaP and PC3) and a normal prostate cell line (PNT2). Cells were exposed up to 72 h to increasing concentrations of propranolol, carvedilol (both non-selective b-blockers), atenolol, metoprolol (both b1-blockers), cisplatin (a cytostatic drug) and flutamide (an androgen receptor blocker) and cell viability was assessed. Selected non-selective b-blockers, propranolol and carvedilol and cytostatic drugs had a cytotoxic effect on all cell lines, while the b1-blockers, metoprolol and atenolol, did not alter significantly cells viability. Of the tested cell lines, 22RV1 was the most sensitive to propranolol, carvedilol and cisplatin and PC3 was the most resistant. Therefore, sensitive line 22RV1, resistant line PC3 and normal cell line PNT-2 were chosen for combined treatment between propranolol and cytostatic cisplatin and flutamide. Overall, the combined exposures revealed concentration dependent interactions between the cytostatic drugs and propranolol.

Keywords: beta-blockers, cancer cell lines, cell viability, combined treatments