Diabetes metformin could boost cancer treatment, study finds

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Metformin is widely recognized for its role in managing type 2 diabetes. However, recent research suggests it may also have significant benefits in cancer treatment.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered that metformin could enhance the body’s ability to combat cancer by activating certain immune cells.

The study, published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, was led by Rita Turpin and Juha Klefström. They focused on dendritic cells, a type of immune cell known for its crucial role in helping the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells.

The research shows that metformin affects the metabolism of these cells, making them more active. This increase in activity boosts the immune response against cancer cells, indicating that metformin could be a valuable addition to cancer therapies.

The team used human breast cancer tissue samples for their study, which included living cancer cells and immune cells that had infiltrated the cancer tissue.

These samples are known as patient-derived explant cultures, a method that allows researchers to observe the direct effects of drugs on cancer cells and the surrounding immune cells in a setting that closely mimics natural conditions.

Juha Klefström emphasized the importance of these cultures, noting they are essential for understanding how cancer drugs affect immune cells within tumors.

This method helps identify treatments that not only attack cancer cells effectively but also preserve and enhance the function of immune cells. Metformin, in particular, has shown promise in activating immune cells to fight cancer more effectively.

The success of this type of research heavily depends on the willingness of breast cancer patients to donate tumor samples. Their contributions are invaluable, enabling significant advancements in cancer research and treatment strategies.

Thanks to their participation, researchers can explore how existing drugs like metformin might be repurposed to improve cancer therapies, potentially leading to new approaches that use the body’s immune system to fight cancer.

This study not only broadens our understanding of metformin’s potential beyond treating diabetes but also opens the door to developing new anticancer therapies that may combine metformin with other treatments designed to activate the immune system.

If you are interested in cancer research, you might also want to look into recent findings on effective new methods to treat cancer and studies about a low-dose, four-drug combination that could inhibit cancer spread.

Additionally, other research has highlighted the importance of certain nutrients found in fish that may act as a “poison” for cancer cells, and studies emphasizing the critical role of daily vitamins in cancer prevention.

These findings and more are available in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, providing a deeper insight into how drugs like metformin could revolutionize the way we approach cancer treatment.

If you care about cancer, please read studies about a new method to treat cancer effectively, and this low-dose, four-drug combo may block cancer spread.

For more information about cancer, please see recent studies about How to harness the power of anti-cancer foods and supplements and results showing that Empower your plate: cancer-fighting foods and recipes.

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