Washington: A new study has found that an inexpensive drug used to treat Type-2 diabetes can prevent a number of natural and man-made chemicals from stimulating the growth of breast cancer cells.The research, led by pediatrics professor James Trosko and colleagues from South Korea’s Seoul National University, provides biological evidence for previously reported epidemiological surveys that long-term use of the drug metformin for Type-2 diabetes reduces the risk of diabetes-associated cancers, such as breast cancers. “People with Type-2 diabetes are known to be at high risk for several diabetes-associated cancers, such as breast, liver and pancreatic cancers,” said Trosko, a professor in the College of Human Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and Human Development. “While metformin has been shown in population studies to reduce the risk of these cancers, there was no evidence of how it worked,” he stated.Using culture dishes, Trosko and colleagues grew miniature human breast tumors, or mammospheres, that activated a certain stem cell gene (Oct4A).
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