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Published on 8 April 2011

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Drug “cuts endometrial cancer risk”


A drug used to treat diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) could protect against endometrial cancer, researchers at the University of Warwick have discovered.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, concluded that metformin could be used to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer, the most common malignancy of the female genital tract and the fourth most common cancer found in British women.

The team used serum from PCOS patients who had undergone metformin treatment and those who had not to carry out basic scientific experiments on endometrial cancer cells. It emerged that those women who have been prescribed metformin had reduced endometrial cancer cell invasiveness.

They also discovered that women who have completed a six-month course of metformin treatment enjoyed a 25% reduced spread of endometrial cancer cells than those who had not had the treatment.

Lead researchers Harpal Randeva and Bee K Tan said: “We are very excited about our findings, which reveal the significant impact of Metformin therapy use on human endometrial cancer cells.

“However, it is prudent that further research to explore if Metformin would actually be beneficial clinically as adjuvant therapy in endometrial cancer; this would need to be addressed through a randomized controlled trial.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011

University of Warwick

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