High blood pressure medications called angiotensin system inhibitors (ASIs) impact blood flow to a tumor, which could make them an ideal addition to cancer treatment. Researchers looked at data from several studies that included participants with metastatic kidney cancer who received ASIs within the first 30 days of a clinical trial. Those trials were testing a variety of anticancer drugs, including Avastin (bevacizumab), Sutent (sunitinib), Torisel (temsirolimus) and interferon alfa. (You can view the results here.)
Retrospective data showed participants who took blood pressure medication along with their anticancer drug had longer survival and delayed tumor progression. Participants who received an antiangiogenic drug, such as Avastin (a drug that blocks blood flow to a tumor), along with an ASI experienced even more significant results, with an improvement in survival time of nine months compared with participants not receiving an ASI. Study subjects receiving an ASI and an mTOR inhibitor or interferon alfa did not experience a significant improvement.
Researchers are not encouraging the use of ASIs in nonhypertensive patients with advanced kidney cancer, but patients who have high blood pressure and receive antiangiogenic cancer treatment should certainly consider ASIs.