Current Month 2011
Article Features
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Popular Diabetes Drug Does Not Improve Survival Rates After Cancer

Despite previous scientific studies that suggest the diabetes drug metformin has anti-cancer properties, a new, first-of-its-kind study from Women's College Hospital has found the drug may not actually improve survival rates after breast cancer in certain patients.

The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, failed to show an improved survival rate in older breast cancer patients with diabetes taking the drug metformin, a first-line treatment for diabetes. However, the authors caution further research is necessary to validate the study's findings.

"Metformin is a drug commonly used by diabetic patients to control the amount of glucose in their blood," said the study's lead author Dr. Iliana Lega, a research fellow at Women's College Research Institute. "Although existing scientific literature suggests that drug may prevent new cancers and death from breast cancer, our study found the drug did not significantly impact survival rates in our patients."

Scientific research has found metformin is associated with an up to 30 per cent reduction in new cancers and a reduction in tumour growth in non-diabetic breast cancer patients treated with the drug, Lega notes in the study.

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