Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Popular diabetes drug does not improve survival rates after cancer

Date:
May 9, 2013
Source:
Women's College Hospital
Summary:
Despite previous scientific studies that suggest diabetes drug metformin has anti-cancer properties, a new, first-of-its-kind study has found the drug may not actually improve survival rates after breast cancer in certain patients.

Despite previous scientific studies that suggest diabetes drug metformin has anti-cancer properties, a new, first-of-its-kind study from Women's College Hospital has found the drug may not actually improve survival rates after breast cancer in certain patients.

The study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, failed to show an improved survival rate in older breast cancer patients with diabetes taking the drug metformin, a first-line treatment for diabetes. However, the authors caution further research is necessary to validate the study's findings.

"Metformin is a drug commonly used by diabetic patients to control the amount of glucose in their blood," said the study's lead author Dr. Iliana Lega, a research fellow at Women's College Research Institute. "Although existing scientific literature suggests that drug may prevent new cancers and death from breast cancer, our study found the drug did not significantly impact survival rates in our patients."

Scientific research has found metformin is associated with an up to 30 per cent reduction in new cancers and a reduction in tumour growth in non-diabetic breast cancer patients treated with the drug, Dr. Lega notes in the study.

To test the drug's anti-cancer properties, the authors examined 2,361 women, aged 66 or older who were treated with the drug and diagnosed with breast cancer between April 1, 1997 and March 31, 2008. The women were followed from their date of breast cancer diagnosis until their death or until March 30, 2010. The researchers found no significant statistical correlation between cumulative use of metformin and death from all causes or a significant reduction in deaths due to breast cancer.

"What makes our study so unique is that while the effects of metformin have been well documented, previous research has not examined the cumulative effects of the drug on patients, particularly breast cancer patients with diabetes," Dr. Lega said. "This is important given that diabetic patients may switch drugs over the course of their treatment."

The authors note a lack of data on body mass index, breast cancer stage and a short followup period for breast-cancer specific deaths, limit interpretation of their findings. Further research is necessary in a younger population of patients with breast cancer and diabetes.

"Understanding the effects of metformin on breast cancer patients is critical in helping address the gap in cancer outcomes in patients with and without diabetes," she added. "The findings will help physicians inform treatment plans for patients with diabetes."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Women's College Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. I. C. Lega, P. C. Austin, A. Gruneir, P. J. Goodwin, P. A. Rochon, L. L. Lipscombe. Association Between Metformin Therapy and Mortality After Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Study. Diabetes Care, 2013; DOI: 10.2337/dc12-2535

Cite This Page:

Women's College Hospital. "Popular diabetes drug does not improve survival rates after cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509123653.htm>.
Women's College Hospital. (2013, May 9). Popular diabetes drug does not improve survival rates after cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509123653.htm
Women's College Hospital. "Popular diabetes drug does not improve survival rates after cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509123653.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins