Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. After diagnosis, cancer treatment may involve radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. Several of the approaches used to treat cancer also attack normal cells and, thus, there is the need for more effective treatments that decrease the toxicity to normal cells and increase the success rates of treatment. The use of beta-blockers in cancer has been studied for their antagonist action on the adrenergic system through inhibition of beta-adrenergic receptors. Besides regulating processes such as blood pressure, heart rate, and airway strength or reactivity, beta-blockers block mechanisms that trigger tumorigenesis, angiogenesis, and tumor metastasis. This study presents a literature review of the available studies addressing cancer treatments and beta-blockers. Overall, data suggest that propranolol may be used as a complement for the treatment of several types of cancer due to its ability to improve cancer outcomes by decreasing cancer cell proliferation rates. Nonetheless, additional in vitro studies should be performed to fully understand the protective role of BBs in cancer patients.
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