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Approved Research

Ion Channel Blockers as Possible Anti-Cancer Agents

Principal Investigator: Professor Anastasis Stephanou
Approved Research ID: 99055
Approval date: March 16th 2023

Lay summary

Worldwide, the total number of people who are alive within 5 years of a cancer diagnosis, called the 5-year prevalence, is estimated to be 43.8 million. Therefore, finding protective factors, exploring risk factors, and further developing prevention strategies for cancer are recognized as important public health issues. Anti-arrhythmic/ ion channel blockers and cardiac glycosides commonly used in treating heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias mediate their effects by altering intracellular/extracellular ion homeostasis. Reports have shown that such drugs also display anticancer effects. This retrospective cohort study is aiming to explore the associations between the use of different types of anti-arrhythmic/ ion channel blocker drugs and the subsequent cancer risk using linked health data already available from the UK Biobank data-base. The scientific rationale of this study may result in the use of repurposing heart drugs for the treatment of cancers.