Tags: cancer | metformin | diabetes

Diabetes Drug Combats Cancer

Thursday, 21 Jun 2012 12:00 PM




Low doses of a long-used diabetes drug have been found to effectively destroy cancer stem cells that cause pancreatic tumors, scientists are reporting.
The findings suggest the drug, metformin, could provide a new line of defense against the development and recurrence of cancer, said researchers with the Spanish National Cancer Research Center in Madrid.
Lead researcher Dr. Christopher Heeschen, who presented the study results this week at the American Association for Cancer Research's Pancreatic Cancer: Progress and Challenges conference in Lake Tahoe, noted few treatments have been found to be effective in treating pancreatic cancer.
In recent years, researchers have discovered that cancer stem cells -- a small subset of tumor cells - are resistant to conventional therapy.
"Therefore, efficiently targeting these cells will be crucial for achieving higher cure rates in patients with pancreatic cancer," Heeschen said. "Our newly emerging data now indicate that metformin, a widely used and well-tolerated drug for the treatment of diabetes, is capable of efficiently eliminating these cells."
In laboratory studies involving mice, the Spanish team’s study found metformin treatment effectively killed the cancer stem cells, halted tumor cell growth and prevented relapses of cancer.
Heeschen said researchers will now seek to test the effects of metformin in pancreatic cancer patients.
"Pending the results of this study, an important aspect for the future will be to investigate if all patients respond to metformin or whether some patients, due to distinct genetic alterations, may not respond to this metabolic reprogramming," he said.

© HealthDay

 
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Low doses of metformin destroy cancer stem cells that cause pancreatic tumors.
cancer,metformin,diabetes
247
2012-00-21
Thursday, 21 Jun 2012 12:00 PM
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