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123Donna View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun 28 2019 at 2:14pm
Is a diabetes drug the key to aggressive breast cancer?

New research finds that the diabetes drug metformin changes stem cancer cells in a way that makes them easier to target with a new form of treatment. The findings could help treat triple-negative breast cancer, which is particularly aggressive.

. . .

Recent studies have pointed to cancer stem cells as a potential target in the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer. Cancer stem cells seem to be key for the formation and advancement of triple-negative tumors.

Now, researchers may have found a way to weaken these cells and make tumors more vulnerable to treatment.

Specifically, a team led by Jeremy Blaydes, a reader in Cancer Cell Biology at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, found that the diabetes drug metformin changes the metabolism of cancer stem cells, making them easier to target by a new form of treatment.

Blaydes and colleagues detail their findings in the journal Carcinogenesis.

New approach slashes cancer cells by 76%

Usually, breast cancer stem cells depend on both oxygen and sugar (glucose) to produce the energy they need to survive and thrive.

However, under dire environmental conditions, these cells can adapt their metabolism to rely more on glucose than oxygen.

Cancer stem cells like all cells can break down glucose into smaller energy chunks through the process of glycolysis.

In the new study, Blaydes and team treated breast cancer stem cells with a low dose of metformin, a drug that lowers blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

The team applied a low dose of metformin to cultured breast cancer stem cells for an extended period of more than 8 weeks.

Doing so forced the breast cancer cells to develop a glucose "addiction." The cells that became excessively reliant on glucose also displayed higher glycolysis rates, as well as higher activity in a type of protein called "C-terminal binding protein" (CtBP). CtBPs also fuel tumor growth.

Changing the cancer cells' metabolism this way made them more vulnerable to treatment with CtBP-inhibiting drugs.

Overall, applying metformin to the cancer cells, and then "switching off" CtBP genes by using CtBP inhibitors slashed the growth of cancer stem cells by 76%.

"Our work has given us the first glimpse into how changes in metabolism can alter the behavior of breast cancer stem cells and reveal new targets for therapy," comments Blaydes, adding, "We are only beginning to scratch the surface in this area of research."

"[W]e now need to push forward the development of CtBP inhibitors as breast cancer drugs. We hope these could lead to new treatment options for breast cancer patients who most need it."

Jeremy Blaydes

Next, the researchers plan to refine CtBP inhibitors further and test various combinations of metformin and CtBP inhibitors to stop the spread of triple negative breast cancers.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325601.php


DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Monarch View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monarch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2019 at 9:33pm
Donna,

I personally want to thank you for putting out articles and research.  Keep them coming!

Monarch
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Laurarev View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Laurarev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2019 at 1:00pm
I agree! This sounds like great research! Thank you Donna 😘
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123Donna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2019 at 1:15pm
I remember asking my onc about this 10 years ago and she said at the time, the research just wasn't there so she was reluctant to give this to me after chemo ended.  I'm glad to see more studies and research come out about possible benefits of metformin for TNBC.
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Robyn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robyn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 06 2019 at 9:21pm
Hi, I'm new here. Glad so many of you are research junkies like me. One week ago I had a 3cm tumor removed from my left breast and removed the left lymph nodes, too though they showed no cancer. I have a diagnosis of triple negative IIA. trying to get my mind around a couple of things that my onc Dr. just did not expound upon. I was a professional dancer who retired due to knee damage. Depression set in afterward, and I did what so many of us athletes do - I ate food. Gained a ton over a 10 year period which resulted in obesity that I know contributed to this disease. I got a gastric bypass 20 years ago and look fine but retained the Type @ diabetes that resulted. Just read this amazing research article. It seems that my meds (Metformin) cause my cancer to replicate faster and only absorb sugars. With this discovered, it seems they are trying to interrupt the cells with some ned meds. But those meds don't exist yet. Anyone have their ONC take them off Metformin? Concerned that I may be feeding the beast. My Endocrinologist has no experience with this.
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123Donna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 07 2019 at 9:47pm
Hi Robyn,

Welcome and hope you'll find this forum as a good place for support and information.  It's hard not to try and think why we got cancer.  Most of the time, it's nothing we did, just some rogue cells that decided to divide and multiply.  You're on your way to fighting this disease.  Looks like you have surgery.  Will you begin chemo soon?

There are many members that used Metformin.  The research on Metformin is to see if it's a possible trigger to help stop the spread or recurrence of the disease. 

"The breast cancer type most affected by high glucose levels was triple negative breast cancer. However, Dr. Thor also found that metformin could kill breast cancer cells and decrease their ability to spread, but the amount needed depended on the amount of glucose in the cell.
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Robyn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robyn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 08 2019 at 2:03am
Thanks so much for the info. I have a lot to learn. not yet scheduled for chemo. I am appalled by the concept of poisoning a body in the hope of killing cancer without killing the patient. Everyone I've ever known who went thru chemo either shut down the cancer (usually temporarily)or succumbed to the disastrous effects of the chemo. Seems like a losing proposition.I have a friend who is alive and WELL after refusing chemo for lymphatic cancer. He has researched extensively and consulted many doctors. He has self medicated with medicines he orders from Canada. So far the doctors are thrilled with his progress and there are literally no side effects. I understand his situation is unique. But I cannot see a better way just now. Are there any members here who rejected chemo and lived to talk about it?
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123Donna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 08 2019 at 8:16am
Hi Robyn,

Unfortunately for TNBC, surgery, chemo and radiation are the only options we have to try and kill the beast the first time and hope it doesn't return.  Since TNBC is fast growing, it usually responds to chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy is very doable.  Have you checked out these resources?







DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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