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Diabetes Drug Metformin May Fight Cancer

Insulin May Promote Cancer Growth

If metformin really does fight cancer, it may do so by lowering circulating insulin levels in the blood.

Brawley says circulating insulin is believed to promote the growth of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.

The breast cancer research and advocacy group Susan G. Komen for the Cure has spent $10 million on studies investigating metformin.

Chandini Portteus, who is vice president of research, evaluation, and scientific programs for the organization, says the group is sponsoring four separate clinical trials involving the drug.

“It is exciting to be involved in this research,” she says. “We know this drug has few side effects and is cost effective, which is not always the case with cancer therapies.”

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