New nanoformulation treats cancer, immunological diseases
Researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center have developed a novel nanoformulation of metformin for the treatment of cancer.
Physicians commonly prescribe metformin to reduce the liver’s production of glucose as a way to manage type II diabetes and help regulate a patient’s blood sugar. Because cancers typically demand very high levels of sugar, metformin has been a drug of interest for cancer researchers.
A team of researchers at UNMC, under the direction of Chi Zhang, M.D., developed a novel nanoformulation of metformin that enhances delivery to the tumor and increases the cancer cells’ uptake of the drug.
Research shows that the metformin nanoformulation enhances survival in a mouse model of glioblastoma. When given as a combination with radiation therapy, survival was further enhanced with around 60 percent of the mice surviving beyond 40 days. Mice treated with radiation and regular metformin only, however, survived beyond 40 days in just 20 percent of cases.
Due to its ability to modulate the activity of macrophages, the nanoformulated metformin can also treat inflammatory diseases.
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