Metformin may prevent lung cancer in smokers

Apr 19, 2010

Metformin, a mainstay of treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes, may soon play a role in lung cancer prevention if early laboratory research presented here at the AACR 101st Annual Meeting 2010 is confirmed in clinical trials.

Metformin decreases levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and circulating insulin, which is important in patients with . However, emerging research suggests may inhibit tumor growth as well.

"This well tolerated, FDA-approved was able to prevent tobacco-carcinogen induced lung tumors," said Phillip A. Dennis, M.D., Ph.D., senior investigator in the medical oncology branch of the National Cancer Institute.

For the current study, Dennis and colleagues treated mice with metformin for 13 weeks following exposure to a nicotine-derived nitrosamine (NNK), which is the most prevalent carcinogen in tobacco and a known promoter of lung tumorigenesis.

When given orally, metformin was well tolerated and reduced tumor burden by 40 percent to 50 percent. Dennis said levels of metformin reached in mice are readily achievable in humans.

Dennis and colleagues further evaluated the effects of metformin on a series of biomarkers for lung tumorigenesis and found that it inhibited mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which promotes growth, by decreasing levels of circulating insulin and IGF-1. This effect was even more profound when metformin was administered to mice by injection, which reduced lung tumor burden by 72 percent.

Explore further: DNA alternative to Pap smear sparks medical debate (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Diabetes drug slows early-onset puberty in girls

Jun 16, 2008

In young girls at risk of early puberty and insulin resistance, the diabetes drug metformin delayed the onset of menstruation and decreased the development of insulin resistance, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, according ...

Penn researchers find diabetes drug kills some cancer cells

Aug 14, 2007

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found that a commonly prescribed diabetes drug kills tumor cells that lack a key regulatory gene called p53. Results from current studies in mice may result ...

FDA approves new diabetes treatment

Oct 17, 2006

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Januvia tablets as the first in a new class of diabetes drugs.

Recommended for you

DNA alternative to Pap smear sparks medical debate (Update)

13 hours ago

A high-tech screening tool for cervical cancer is facing pushback from more than a dozen American patient groups, who warn that the genetic test could displace a simpler, cheaper and more established mainstay of women's health: ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.