Diabetes Drug Metformin Might Also Help Fight Cancer

People taking it seemed to fare better when faced with prostate, pancreatic tumors, studies found

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The next step is to test the concept in a prospective fashion, said Pishvaian, who was not involved with the study.

Three other studies, also released Saturday, suggest that metformin might be active against other cancer types:

  • Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine report that metformin appeared to slow the growth of liver tumors in mice.
  • A team at the U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research said that, in mouse studies, metformin appears to reduce the number and size of oral cancer lesions.
  • Research conducted at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester, England, finds that combining metformin with certain cancer drugs worked better to suppress a certain type of melanoma versus using the cancer drugs alone.

The liver cancer and oral cancer studies were published March 31 in Cancer Prevention Research, while the melanoma study appears in the March 31 issue of Cancer Discovery.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more on prostate cancer.

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