A new study has found that diabetics using the drug metformin can reduce the risk of getting lung cancer . The drug seems to block the development of tumours on animals, but it is hoped that it will also be effective for humans, as there have been early indications that smokers who take metformin to treat their diabetes have a lower incidence of cancer .
The study involved treating mice with metformin for a 13-week period after they were exposed to the cancer-causing agents found in tobacco smoke. The number of tumours in mice that had been given metformin decreased by up to a half if the drug was given by mouth, and by 72 per cent if it was injected.
If metformin indeed lowers the risk of getting lung cancer for diabetics, it could be the first drug treatment that could prevent smoking-related cancer before it takes hold. However, even if proven successful, the drug will not deter other smoking-related illnesses, including heart problems and emphysema .
Phillip Dennis, senior investigator in the medical oncology branch of the National Cancer Institute in American, recently commented that “This well-tolerated diabetes drug was able to prevent tobacco-carcinogen-induced lung tumors.”

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