Diabetes and cancer

Metformin may help offset the risk of cancer in patients with diabetes, according to a literature review of 146 studies examining the link between cancer and diabetes.

The authors hypothesised that the increased risk may be due to increased levels of insulin-like growth factor, which seems to promote both the survival and growth of tumour cells, as well as decreasing cellular apoptosis.

Metformin acts as an insulin sensitiser, inhibiting gluconeogenesis in the liver. It has an effect on the phase of the cell cycle that is known to promote growth of cancer cells.

The authors concluded “there does