Metformin protected mice exposed to the cancer causing nitrosamine called NNK, possibly through activation of an enzyme that inhibits tumor growth. NNK is the most prevalent carcinogen found in tobacco.
Previous Studies note Lung Cancer Protection from MetforminJeffrey A. Engelman, M.D., Ph.D., director of the centers for thoracic cancers at Massachusetts General Hospital and co-author of an accompanying editorial published in Cancer Prevention Research says, “Previous epidemiology studies have shown that diabetics taking metformin have a lower risk of developing cancer. In this study, researchers carefully controlled for glucose levels, which suggests that the effect may be seen beyond the diabetic population.
Because over half of lung cancers occur in former smokers, researchers say identifying those at risk is important for prevention.
In the current study, mice treated with Metformin orally had up to 50 percent fewer lung cancer tumors and those injected with the drug had 72 percent fewer tumors.