Thursday, 6 May 2010

Diabetes drug may treat certain cancers

Diabetes drug may treat certain cancers

Scientists have found that a drug commonly prescribed to treat diabetes may also have positive effects for treating certain types of cancer.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Cincinnati, found that the diabetes drug, metformin, in addition to helping the body make better use of insulin, also suppresses certain enzymes that can lead to cancer.

George Thomas, lead researcher on the study, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he believes the drug could be used specifically to treat tuberous sclerosis, a disease in which tumors form in many organs of the body. The tumors are benign, but lead to an array of other health problems.

Thomas added that the findings were surprising, and may lead to more targeted treatments for the disease.

"You wouldn't think of treating that with metformin," he told the news source.

Tuberous sclerosis can result in skin abnormalities, seizures, and mental retardation, according to the National Institute of Health.

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