Washington: Commonly used diabetes drugs such as metformin may help control lung cancer, and may help prevent it, US researchers reported on Tuesday.Patients who had taken the drugs to control diabetes were much less likely to have lung cancer spread -- which is when it becomes most deadly -- the researchers told a meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.Metformin, an older and cheaper drug available generically, had a more powerful effect than newer drugs called thiazolidinediones, TZDs or glitazones, the researchers said.
"This new information adds to the growing body of evidence that metformin may help prevent and inhibit the progression of lung cancer," Gutterman said.Metformin is one of the most widely used drugs for type 2 diabetes, with 41 million prescriptions written in the United States in 2008, the American College of Chest Physicians said in a statement.In May, researchers reported an inhaled drug called iloprost, approved to treat pulmonary hypertension might also prevent lung cancer.In April, researchers said a natural supplement derived from food, called myo-inositol, seems to stop the precancerous changes that lead to lung cancer.Lung cancer is the No 1 cancer killer globally; killing 1.2 million people a year. Only 15 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer are still alive five years later, in part because the disease usually spreads silently for years before it causes clear enough symptoms to be detected.Early stage lung tumors can often be removed surgically, however.The World Health Organization estimates 171 million people globally had diabetes in 2000 and predicts that number will nearly double by 2030 to 366 million.Bureau Report
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