Background: The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is thought to have a role in carcinogenesis, and RAS inhibition may prevent tumour growth.
Methods: We retrospectively investigated the impact of angiotensin I-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin II type-1 receptor blockers (ARBs) in 155 patients with pancreatic cancer receiving gemcitabine monotherapy. Patients were divided into three groups: the ACEI/ARB group (27 patients receiving an ACEI or ARB for hypertension (HT)), the non-ACEI/ARB with HT group (25 patients receiving antihypertensive drugs other than ACEIs or ARBs), and the non-HT group (103 patients receiving no antihypertensive drugs).
Results: Patient characteristics were not different, except for age and HT medications. Progression-free survival (PFS) was 8.7 months in the ACEI/ARB group, 4.5 months in the non-ACEI/ARB with HT group, and 3.6 months in the non-HT group. Overall survival (OS) was 15.1 months in the ACEI/ARB group, 8.9 months in the non-ACEI/ARB with HT group, and 9.5 months in the non-HT group. The use of ACEIs/ARBs was a significant prognostic factor for both PFS (P=0.032) and OS (P=0.014) in the multivariate analysis.
Conclusions: The ACEIs/ARBs in combination with gemcitabine might improve clinical outcomes in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. Prospective trials are needed to test this hypothesis.