Diabetes drug 'may treat prostate cancer'

16 July 2012

A 2p drug commonly used by diabetes patients could help to treat prostate cancer, according to a new study.

Experts at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada, made the claim after a new study into the efficacy of the drug metformin involving 22 men, each of whom had been diagnosed with tumours and were due to undergo prostate removal surgery.

In the six weeks leading up to their operation, each patient took 500mg of metformin thrice a day, with the specialists reporting that the drug stunted prostate cancer cell growth.

In 2009, a similar study found that men with diabetes who took metformin in daily doses were 44 per cent less likely to develop prostate cancer and experts are now extolling the virtues of the drug, which costs as little as 2p a tablet.

Dr Anthony Joshua, a cancer specialist and lead author of the study, is optimistic about the results and the prospects of a potential new cancer treatment.

"We compared what the prostate cancer looked like when it was first diagnosed to what it looked like when it was removed. And although these are preliminary results, it appeared to reduce the growth rate of prostate cancer in a proportion of men," he added.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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