How diabetes drug metformin prevents, suppresses cancer growth

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How diabetes drug metformin prevents, suppresses cancer growth

Metformin, a diabetes drug, might block cancer growth.

A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School investigators has identified a pathway that appears to underlie the apparent ability of the diabetes drug metformin to both block the growth of human cancer cells and extend the lifespan of the C.elegans roundworm.

That finding implies that this single genetic pathway may play an important role in a wide range of organisms — including humans.

“We found that metformin reduces the traffic of molecules into and out of the nucleus — the ‘information center’ of the cell,” says Alexander Soukas, MD, PhD, of the MGH Center for Human Genetic Research, senior author of the study, published in the Thursday, Dec. 15 issue of Cell.

“Reduced nuclear traffic translates into the ability of the drug to block cancer growth and, remarkably, is also responsible for metformin’s ability to extend lifespan,” he said. “By shedding new light on metformin’s health-promoting effects, these results offer new potential ways that we can think about treating cancer and increasing healthy aging.”

Several studies have suggested that individuals taking metformin have a reduced risk of developing certain cancers and of dying from cancers that do develop. Current clinical trials are testing the impact of metformin on cancers of the breast, prostate and pancreas; and several research groups are working to identify its molecular targets.

Read full article: How diabetes drug metformin prevents, suppresses cancer growth | KurzweilAI

Read Full Article: How diabetes drug metformin prevents, suppresses cancer growth | KurzweilAI

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