Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Antioxidants in antidiabetic drugs may fuel cancer spread, mouse study shows

Since consumption of other anti-oxidents has been shown to increase the risk of cancer in humans, this is significant.


Public Release: 13-Apr-2016
Antioxidants in antidiabetic drugs may fuel cancer spread, mouse study shows
American Association for the Advancement of Science

Yet another study exposes antioxidants' potential to fuel the spread of cancer--this time for antioxidants found in a specific type of antidiabetic medication. Researchers working in mice with cancer now find that some of these drugs can spur the metastasis of existing tumors, including colon and liver cancer. If borne out in humans, the findings caution against giving this type of antioxidant-containing medication to diabetic cancer patients. Mounting evidence from animal studies highlights the potential of antioxidants, compounds that protect cells from toxic reactive oxygen species, to accelerate either cancer growth or metastasis. Antioxidants are commonly used to treat patients with diabetes, a disease driven by oxidative stress. Diabetes is suspected to raise the risk of many cancers, and the number of diabetic patients who also have cancer is growing.


They found that while these drugs did not raise the risk of developing cancer, they sped the metastasis of existing tumors. Antioxidants in the drugs seemed to protect cancer cells from oxidative stress, boosting their ability to migrate and invade.


In light of these results, the researchers call for further studies evaluating the safety of antioxidant-containing medications for diabetic patients with cancer. Their finding in mice would need to be confirmed in humans before researchers would make any definitive clinical recommendations.

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