Researchers have shown that diabetes drug called metformin, costing just 2p could beat prostate cancer by slowing the pace at which tumours grow. More than forty thousand cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed every year only in UK and about ten thousand people die from the disease.
Metformin is widely used drug to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. However, the latest study highlights effects of metformin against a wide range of tumours that have created a considerable excitement among cancer researchers looking for potent new treatments. Metformin works by reducing the amount of glucose generated by the liver and helping cells mop up sugar that is circulating in the bloodstream.
It further prevents damage from excessive levels of blood sugar. Last year study has shown that the drug could slash the risk of ovarian cancer by forty percent. In latest study experts from the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada, trilled the drug on twenty-two males after noting that it inhibited prostate cancer cell growth in lab trials.
All the study subjects had been diagnosed with tumours and were underwent a surgery to have their prostates removed. For the duration of six weeks prior to their surgery each study subject was given five hundred mg of metformin three times a day, during study tenure experts measured the pace at which the tumour cell multiplied.
They found that malignant cells grew at a considerably slower pace when the subjects were put on the drug, which suggests metformin might be able to keep tumours under control. Study leader and cancer specialist Dr Anthony Joshua, explained although these are preliminary results, it appeared to reduce the growth rate of prostate cancer in a proportion of men.
The study results support a 2009 study which showed that men taking metformin every day to control their diabetes were up to forty-four percent less likely to develop prostate cancer. The study findings were presented at the recent American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Chicago.