Metformin and reduced risk of cancer in diabetic patients

Josie M. M. Evans, Louise A. Donnelly, Alistair M. Emslie-Smith, Dario R. Alessi, Andrew D. Morris

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1674 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Metformin, widely given to patients with type 2 diabetes, works by targeting the enzyme AMPK (AMP activated protein kinase), which induces muscles to take up glucose from the blood. A recent breakthrough has found the upstream regulator of AMPK to be a protein kinase known as LKB1. LKB1 is a well recognised tumour suppressor. Activation of AMPK by metformin and exercise requires LKB1, and this would also explain why exercise is beneficial in the primary and secondary prevention of certain cancers. We hypothesise that metformin use in patients with type 2 diabetes may reduce their risk of cancer.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1304-1305
    Number of pages2
    JournalBMJ
    Volume330
    Issue number7503
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

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