The effect of histamine type 2 (H2) receptor antagonists on survival of patients with solid tumors is debatable.
In this study, researchers from Denmark assessed the efficacy of the H2-receptor antagonist, ranitidine, on the long-term survival of patients with colorectal cancer.
The team identified patients scheduled for elective resection of primary tumors, these patients were randomized in a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study.
They administered ranitidine 100 mg or placebo intravenously twice daily, followed by oral ranitidine 150 mg or placebo twice daily for 5 years.
|Ranitidine improved survival of non-transfused patients who did not develop postoperative infection.|
|British Journal of Surgery|
In this study, the median observation period for the 740 patients was 7 years.
The research team performed a final analysis, on an intention-to-treat basis after more than 5 years. This included a subgroup analysis of perioperative blood transfusion and postoperative infectious complications.
Analysis found no significant effect of ranitidine on overall survival.
Furthermore, ranitidine showed no survival benefit in curatively resected patients who received a perioperative blood transfusion.
However, it did improve the survival of the subgroup of non-transfused patients, and of non-transfused patients who did not develop postoperative infectious complications.
The team found that, within this subgroup of patients, ranitidine had an independent beneficial effect on patients who had a curative resection.
Dr Nielsen's team concluded, "Ranitidine may prolong the survival of patients who undergo curative resection of colorectal cancer, and who do not receive perioperative blood transfusion and do not develop postoperative infectious complications".