Drug Could Lower Risk for Oral Cancer

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Metformin, a drug commonly used to treat diabetes, could lower the risk of oral cancer.

A new study in Cancer Prevention Research, which is a publication for the American Association for Cancer, came to this conclusion.

J. Silvio Gutkind, chief of the Oral Pharyngeal Cancer Branch of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health, and some of his colleagues conducted extensive research involving premalignant lesions in laboratory mice and the impact metformin had on them. One of the reasons for the drug’s success was based on mTORC1, which is something that results in oral cancer.

Metformin may be the most commonly used treatment for type 2 diabetes. At the same time, people who take the drug have seen lower a risk for cancer. Specifically, metformin lowered the size and the number of carcinogen-induced oral tumoral lesions in mice. It also reduced the development of squamous cell carcinomas by about 70 to 90 percent.

The metformin was found to stop the spontaneous development of oral premalignancies into the head and neck squamous cell.

More research is necessary to determine whether or not this information will be applicable to humans during an extended period of time.