Metformin has long been known as an effective therapy for type 2 diabetes. By inhibiting the hormone insulin-like growth factor-1, metformin can lower blood glucose. IGF-1, though, also has a role in cancer development. And a new preclinical study has demonstrated its potential against lung cancer.
Delivered orally to mice exposed to nicotine-derived nitrosamine, reports the Los Angeles Times, reduced tumor burden up to 50 percent. Injecting the drug reduced the tumor burden by 72 percent. Dr. Phillip A. Dennis of the National Cancer Institute reported his findings at the annual AACR meeting.
There have been other studies that have highlighted the potential for metformin as a treatment for cancer. But because the drug has come off patent, there's little reason for commercial developers to work on new applications.
- here's the story from the Los Angeles Times