ARBs and cancer risk

Finally some good news from the FDA. After a 2010 meta-analysis showed a possible link between angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and cancer, the agency has completed its own review and has found no evidence of increased risk of "cancer events" including new cancers, cancer-related deaths, breast cancer, lung cancer, or prostate cancer associated with the drugs. The agency conducted a much larger meta-analysis than the original study, including more than 150,000 patients in 31 long-term, randomized, controlled clinical trials. The rate of cancer events in the ARB group was 1.82 per 100 patient years while the rate in the non-ARB group was 1.84 per 100 patient years (relative risk of incident cancer in patients taking ARBs 0.99, 95% confidence interval, 0.92 to 1.06) There was no statistically significant difference in cancer death rates or incidence of individual cancer types. The agency continues to monitor this issue but currently states that the benefits of ARBs continue to outweigh the potential risks (summary available at FDA.gov/drugs/drugsafety/).