Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Diabetes drug shrinks tumours

with 2 comments

A diabetes drug costing as  little as 2p a tablet could offer a major breakthrough in the treatment of prostate cancer.  Research has shown that the medicine, called metformin(fact sheet) causes tumours to shrink by slowing the rate at which cancerous cells grow.

Metformin 500mg tablets

Metformin 500mg tablets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If the results are confirmed in bigger trials, it raises the possibility that men could be given the cheap, readily available drug as soon as they are diagnosed.

Metformin is widely used on the NHS to treat patients with type 2 diabetes.

But recent studies highlighting the drug’s effects against a variety of tumours have generated considerable excitement among cancer researchers looking for powerful new treatments.

Last year, scientists discovered it could slash the risk of ovarian cancer by around 40 per cent.

In the latest breakthrough, doctors tested the drug on 22 men who were due to undergo surgery to have their prostates removed.

For six weeks before their operation, each one took 500mg of metformin three times a day, during which time researchers measured the rate at which the tumour cells multiplied.

The results, presented at the recent American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Chicago, showed malignant cells grew at a significantly slower rate once the men were put on the drug, suggesting metformin might be able to keep tumours under control.

Metformin works by reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver and helping cells mop up sugar that is circulating in the bloodstream, preventing damage from excessive blood sugar levels.

At about £30 per patient per year – or just 6p to 8p a day – it could be a highly cost-effective way to tackle prostate tumours.

This looks promising and could be acted upon before larger scale trials are completed.  The drug is already familiar to our doctors who should be able to evaluate its voracity to help youGreg

By Pat Hagan |


Written by Greg Naylor

24 November 2012 at 6:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. Finger crossed this could be part of a viable treatment plan.


    27 November 2012 at 9:31 am

  2. I think that what you said was actually very logical.
    But, what about this? suppose you wrote a catchier title?
    I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your website, however suppose you added something to maybe grab people’s attention?

    I mean Diabetes drug shrinks tumours | GREG’S LEGACY is kinda vanilla. You ought to look at Yahoo’s front page and
    see how they create article headlines to get viewers to open the links.
    You might try adding a video or a picture or two to get
    readers interested about what you’ve written. In my opinion, it might bring your blog a little bit more interesting.


    7 March 2013 at 7:16 am

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