A drug against diabetes shows anticancer virtues

Canada, United States - A team of researchers from McGill University Center of Montreal and the University of Pennsylvania discovered the properties of an antidiabetic drug widely disseminated against cancer and infections.

Metformine, sold in France under the name Glucophage, in fact increase the efficiency of T lymphocytes in the immune system and therefore acts as effective vaccine against viruses and cancer.

T lymphocytes, or white blood cells, remembers the infectious agents in question during the previous vaccinations and infections, which allows them to respond more quickly and more effectively to reinfection by the same agent. The study of this "immunological memory" now allows researchers to say that the response of white blood cells to infections and cancers can be manipulated and improved by the drug against diabetes.

Dr. Pearce says that the T lymphocytes, transforming or burning fatty acids after the peak of infection, have a major role in immunological memory. Metformin, which acts on the transformation of fatty acids, strengthens the memory of white blood cells while conferring protective immunity of the vaccine.

Recent studies have shown the similarities between cancer and diabetes. Several genes involved in the regulation of diabetes also play a role in cancer progression. Furthermore, it appears that diabetics are more prone to certain types of cancer.

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