Diabetes Drugs May Also Protect Against Breast Cancer

One of the most popular drugs prescribed for diabetics is Metformin. This medication is given to help limit how much blood sugar the liver produces. It also improves insulin sensitivity in the body. Many diabetics who watch their diets can keep their blood glucose levels under control with just this oral medication.

Multiple Uses In a Single Drug

Other past research has also indicated that Metformin may slow the aging process. For instance, a 2014 study found that type 2 diabetics taking the pill lived longer than non-diabetics not taking it.

There is currently a large study in process called Targeted Aging with Metformin (TAME), that includes 3,000 people. Half of the participants are taking daily doses of this drug and will continue doing so for six years. These are all elderly people at risk for cardiovascular disease, dementia, and even cancer. Ultimately, the goal is to determine if Metformin slows the progression of the disease and even death.

New Cancer Research Comes Out

Of course, other studies are looking into the possible cancer connection. Dr. Xiaohe Yang of the North Carolina Central University has been comparing the effects of Metformin and an older version of the drug, Buformin.

Yang used the drugs in transgenic mice and found that both can delay and prevent the onset of breast cancer, specifically, ErbB2-expressing breast cancer, a type that usually has a poor outcome for patients.

These early results provide the positive potential for anti-cancer drugs derived from Metformin and older diabetes medications. It is also great for diabetes patients as the results indicate that the drug alone offers some protective effects. However, much more research needs to be done, and the studies completed so far have been limited to specific types of cancer.

[expand title=”References“]

Metformin HCL. URL Link. Accessed June 27, 2017.

Can a Diabetes Drug Cure Aging? URL Link. Accessed June 27, 2017.

Research Finds Diabetes Drugs, Diet, and Alcohol Affect Breast Cancer Prevention. URL Link. Accessed June 27, 2017.

Metformin Selectively Targets Tumor-Initiating Cells in ErbB2-Overexpressing Breast Cancer Models. URL Link. Accessed June 27, 2017.


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