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Common diabetes drug lowers risk for cancer of the pancreas

Common diabetes drug lowers risk for cancer of the pancreas

Metformin reduces an individual's risk of developing pancreatic cancer by 62%, according to research from Houston's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Metformin is the most commonly prescribed drug for patients with type 2 diabetes, who are often obese and/or have insulin resistance.

The researchers enrolled 1,838 participants (973 patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma, 863 cancer-free individuals). Of these, 259 patients and 109 controls were diabetics. They found that diabetics who took metformin alone or in any combination with other diabetic therapies had a 62% risk reduction compared to those who never used the drug (Gastroenterology 137:482-488, 2009).

Diabetics who had taken insulin had a 4.99-fold increased risk for the disease, compared with never users.

 
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