Diabetes Drug Protects Against Ovarian Cancer, Canadian Research Revealed

A type 2 diabetes drug, commonly prescribed, can also protect against ovarian cancer, Canadian researchers revealed in a new study issued in the medical journal Clinical Cancer Research. We’re talking about metformin, a common diabetes drug that showed to be efficient in preventing scarring of the ovaries.

According to Curtis McCloskey, a researcher at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Cancer Center, the leading cause of ovarian cancer is the number of a woman’s ovulations during her life.

McCloskey added that contraception pills are effective in protecting against ovarian cancer simply because they block ovulation.

“The ovary is constantly in a state of change, growth, and retraction. That causes what we call a wound response, so the ovary essentially has to fix itself. When that happens repeatedly, you can get scarring or fibrosis,” explained Curtis McCloskey.

Canadian Research Revealed That A Diabetes Drug Prevents Ovarian Cancer

In their study, the scientists analyzed 27 ovaries removed from women between 21 and 82 years of age. All the ovaries coming from postmenopausal women presented fibrosis, except for one of a 69-year-old woman.

After further investigations, Curtis McCloskey found out that the respective 69-year-old woman had type 2 diabetes. She was treated with metformin. That surprised McCloskey, who, until that moment, had no clue that a diabetes drug can also have protective properties against fibrosis, the leading cause of ovarian cancer in postmenopausal women.

“This rang a bunch of bells because I was familiar with a study done in 2015 that showed that diabetic women who took metformin had up to an 80 percent reduction in the risk in developing ovarian cancer. And there weren’t many studies that followed up on how this might be happening,” said Curtis McCloskey.

Next, Curtis McCloskey suggested that new tests should be conducted, which are similar to mammograms. He plans to administer metformin to women with fibrosis, for one year, to see if this type 2 diabetes drug reduces the scarring of the ovaries that leads to ovarian cancer.