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: The fine line between breast cancer and normal tissues

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

The fine line between breast cancer and normal tissues

13 hours ago

Up to 40 percent of patients undergoing breast cancer surgery require additional operations because surgeons may fail to remove all the cancerous tissue in the initial operation. However, researchers at Brigham ...

Pancreatic cancer risk not higher with diabetes Rx DPP-4i

14 hours ago

(HealthDay)—There is no increased short-term pancreatic cancer risk with dipeptidyl-peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4i) compared to sulfonylureas (SU) and thiazolidinediones (TZD) for glycemic control, according ...

Good bowel cleansing is key for high-quality colonoscopy

17 hours ago

The success of a colonoscopy is closely linked to good bowel preparation, with poor bowel prep often resulting in missed precancerous lesions, according to new consensus guidelines released by the U.S. Multi-Society Task ...

New rules for anticancer vaccines

19 hours ago

Scientists have found a way to find the proverbial needle in the cancer antigen haystack, according to a report published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

User comments : 0