Metformin, a common diabetes drug, could be used as an effective treatment for ovarian cancer. Mayo Clinic researchers discovered that patients with both diabetes and ovarian cancer lived longer than women who had cancer only and were not taking Metformin, Fox News reports.
Scientists have reportedly been searching for a possible link between the diabetes drug Metformin and potential anti-cancer properties for many years. Mayo Clinic gynecologic oncology fellow Dr. Sanjeev Kumar had this to say about the new study:
“We had a pretty good idea that metformin has anti-cancer activity, because a lot of people around the world have been reporting the link between metformin intake and a protective effect against cancer for a number of years now. Viji Shridhar, one of the study’s co-authors, has been conducting a lot of experiments in her lab and has published extensively in the area, so we had a lot of cell data, mice data and then we decided to test our hypothesis in humans.”
Dr. Kumar and his fellow researchers studied 239 patients with ovarian cancer. A total of 61 of the women with cancer were also taking Metformin. When the survival rates of the two groups were reviewed, a total of 67 percent of the women taking the common diabetes drug were alive after 5 years.
When the Mayo Clinic doctors also factored in the ovarian cancer patients’ body mass index, disease severity, and other important health statistics, the patients on Metformin were reportedly four times more likely to survive than those not on the diabetes medication. The medication is a first-line agent in Type 2 diabetes, according to the Med Page Today website.