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September 12, 2005

Cancer Benefit Seen for Popular Diabetes Drug

Topics: Medicine

Researchers are reporting an observed link between Glucophage use and lower cancer mortality, although more studies are needed to confirm that benefit. Patients need to keep in mind that choice of an oral glycemic control agent should be based on a drug's ability to control glucose in a specific patient rather than a potential anticancer benefit.

Patients taking the most commonly prescribed oral therapy for diabetes, Glucophage (metformin), may get an extra benefit - a lower risk of dying from cancer.

A retrospective study reported Sunday at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting here found that patients with type 2 diabetes who used Glucophage had a 23% lower risk of cancer death.

Interestingly, the researchers found no factors - age, sex, duration or severity of diabetes, smoking, cholesterol levels, or weight - to explain the difference in patient survival except Glucophage use. Further, there was an inverse relationship between Glucophage exposure - higher doses and longer use - and cancer mortality, and the researchers said there was a trend toward lower cancer mortality even among patients who took only a single dose of Glucophage. Keeping in mind that this was a retrospective study and not controlled, the results suggest promise but not conclusion.

Posted by Richard at September 12, 2005 11:05 AM

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