April 4, 2012- Metformin, a common drug used in the fight against diabetes, has shown promise in preliminary trials in the fight against Pancreatic and Prostate tumors. The drug is usually the first choice for regulating blood sugar in those who have type 2 diabetes. However, it is now sparking the interest of the medical world as another cancer fighter.
A recent study shows that the drug might stop the growth of tumor cells in prostate cancer. Another new study suggests it could also extend patients lives who are suffering from cancer of the pancreas. However, experts warn that work is still in the preliminary stage and additional studies must be done before the drug can be recommended as a treatment for cancer.
One doctor from Massachusetts General Hospital said, “We are still in the early stages, but there are good signals of the drug having an anti-cancer effect.”
In the prostate study, 22 men participated. All 22 had prostate cancer and took Metformin three times daily from the day they were diagnosed until their prostate was taken out, that averaged 41 days. Tissue was compared from biopsies at the time of diagnosis to tissue at the time the prostate was removed. The researchers found that cell growth in the tumors was slowed by 32%.