Diabetes drug metaformin stops lung cancer cells from growing

(http://www.royalpharmacyrx.com/) : According to a study the diabetes drug metformin slows the growth of lung cancer cells and makes them more likely to be killed by radiotherapy. It acted on the defence mechanisms that non-small cell lung cancers — the most common form of the disease — use to resist radiotherapy.

Lung cancer cells normally adapt to radiotherapy by switching on survival mechanisms that make them resistant to the treatment and even helps them to grow faster. The drug reverses this effect, and once again makes them sensitive to radiotherapy.

It appears to work by enhancing the damage-detection signals sent within cancer cells in response to radiotherapy, and hence over-riding the cells’ survival mechanisms. The signals hence stops cancer cells from making the new proteins they need to grow rapidly and prevents them from making new cells and ultimately encourages them to die.

The study shows that the diabetes drug metformin can stop lung cancer cells from growing and makes them more sensitive to treatment by radiotherapy. Lung cancer remains one of the most difficult cancers to treat. Less than 10 per cent of people survive the disease for at least five years. We urgently need better and new ways of treating lung cancer and this research takes us a step towards making radiotherapy a more potent treatment.

The researchers are planning to increase significantly its investment in research into this form of the disease, to improve the chances for lung cancer patients, so that patients can benefit from new and improved treatments sooner.

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