Researchers have identified that Diabetes drug may slow the growth of pancreatic cancer in a study. They unveiled the novel mechanism behind the potential of metformin, the diabetes drug, to inhibit the progression of pancreatic cancer.
It was identified that the inflammation and fibrosis are decreased by metformin, which are characteristic of common pancreatic cancer form. The findings also indicated that the beneficial effect is prevalent in patients with obesity and overweight.
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in US, study researchers studied on the common form of pancreatic cancer called pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Half of the patients diagnosed with this form of pancreatic cancer are obese or overweight, while 80% of them are either insulin resistant or type 2 diabetic.
Diabetic patients on metformin had lessened risk of developing pancreatic cancer or reduced risk of death in those who developed the tumour. Researchers first identified that hyaluronan levels are less by 30% in tumour samples from overweight or obese patients consuming metformin for diabetes, compared to those who do not take the drug.
Dai Fukumura from MGH said, "We found that metformin alleviates desmoplasia - an accumulation of dense connective tissue and tumour-associated immune cells that is a hallmark of pancreatic cancer - by inhibiting the activation of the pancreatic stellate cells that produce the extracellular matrix and by reprogramming immune cells to reduce inflammation."