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(CBS News) – Does hope for cancer treatment lie in new drugs? Not necessarily, as new research shows that a commonly prescribed diabetes drug, metformin, may help fight cancer.
The drug helps diabetes patients keep their blood sugar in check and makes them more sensitive to insulin. But several new studies examined the effect of metformin on cancerous tumors, based on previous findings that metformin increases the activity of an enzyme involved in tumor suppression.
The latest findings were presented this month in the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting in Chicago.
Researchers studied the effect of metformin on patients affected with a variety of cancers, including melanoma, pancreatic, lung, and prostate cancer. The studies found metformin inhibits the growth of most tumor cells.
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