New study indicates common diabetes drugs could be used against cancer

Nov 22, 2010

Diabetic drugs could be used against lung cancer

Two types of drugs commonly used to treat diabetes could cut mortality rates among lung cancer sufferers and even help prevent it in the first place, researchers told the annual conference of the American College of Chest Physicians.

The Cleveland Clinic's Peter Mazzone - who was the study's lead author - told the conference that the drug metformin and a number of medicines grouped into a category called thiazolidinediones appeared to influence tumor formation and prognosis in a positive way, even when researchers controlled for smoking history and other demographic variables.

The ACCP said in a statement that the potential impact of the study is "significant," given the large and growing population of Americans who have either been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or are at a high risk of developing the condition.

Diet and smoking, respectively, represent the easiest way most Americans have to control their risk of diabetes and lung cancer. Staying unaffected by both conditions could improve rates for life insurance and other types of coverage.

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