Can a common diabetes drug prevent the risk of leukemia? Can a common diabetes drug prevent the risk of leukemia?

Can a common diabetes drug prevent the risk of leukemia?

Can a common diabetes drug prevent the risk of leukemia?
Danish scientists have found that a cheap drug taken by millions of diabetics may go beyond just lowering blood sugar and help protect against leukemia.

Scientists said that diabetic patients taking metformin were less likely to develop myeloproliferative disease (MNP), a rare type of cancer that begins in the bone marrow.

Myeloproliferative disease can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and organ damage.

Metformin has anti-inflammatory effects, which have previously been found to protect against common age-related diseases, including heart disease and cognitive decline.

"We were surprised by the size of the association we saw in the data. We saw the stronger effect in people who took metformin for more than five years compared to those who took the treatment for less than a year," said Daniel Tuite-Kerstensen, a PhD student at Aalborg University Hospital.

Myeloproliferative disease is known as a group of diseases related to the bone marrow, and these diseases are characterized by an abnormal increase in the numbers of myeloid cells in the bone marrow.

Previous research has found that the drug can reduce the risk of breast, colon and prostate cancer in diabetics.

The latest research, published in the American Society of Hematology, has examined how the drug affects other diseases, including myeloproliferative disease.

The study included 3,816 patients who were diagnosed with myeloproliferative disease between 2010 and 2018, and 19,080 people who did not have it.

About 7% of the myeloproliferative disease group had taken metformin before, compared to 8% of the control group.

Scientists found that those who took the drug for five years were 45% less likely to develop leukemia compared to those who did not take it.

The new findings come from an “observational” study, where scientists only use records to monitor different patterns of behavior, such as whether or not you develop leukemia.

Observational studies are easier to conduct than randomized trials, but they are subject to errors, because association does not necessarily prove cause. Therefore, we cannot assume that metformin reduced leukemia directly, according to scientists.


  1. Informative

  2. Though there is hope, further research is essential.

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