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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Metformin and reduced risk of cancer in diabetic patients
Author(s): Evans, Josie
Donnelly, Louise A
Emslie-Smith, Alistair M
Alessi, Dario R
Morris, Andrew D
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Keywords: Diabetes
Metabolic disorders
Epidemiologic studies
Health education
Health promotion
Issue Date: 4-Jun-2005
Citation: Evans J, Donnelly LA, Emslie-Smith AM, Alessi DR & Morris AD (2005) Metformin and reduced risk of cancer in diabetic patients, BMJ, 330 (7503), pp. 1304-1305.
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 LKB1.1 2 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.3 We hypothesise that metformin use in patients with type 2 diabetes may reduce their risk of cancer.
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Rights: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and Published in BMJ by BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. The published article can be accessed at:

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