Finland researchers have found diabetes drugs can be used to control risk of prostate cancer. The study concluded that men who had a history of taking any diabetes medication had a 16 percent lower risk of prostate cancer. The decreased risk was comparable for all antidiabetic drugs, including metformin, sulfonylureas and insulin.
The lead researcher of the study Dr. Teemu J. Murtola and colleague studied a group of men diagnosed prostate cancer and a group of “control” men without prostate cancer. The total cohort comprised 24,723 case-control pairs. The investigators also used a comprehensive prescription database to obtain information on medication use.
Oral diabetes drugs were used by 7.5 percent of men with prostate cancer and by 8.4 percent of controls. The prevalence of insulin use was 2.5 percent in the cases and 3.0 percent in the controls.
Murtola’s group notes,
“The potential mechanism behind decreased prostate cancer risk for diabetic men is currently unclear. Most likely, the changes in endogenous hormone metabolism occurring in diabetes have an important role.”