Types 2 Diabetes Drugs and Breast Cancer Research

Stopping breast cancer from spreading by Cell Conversion With 2 Drugs

Is Types 2 Diabetes Drugs and Breast Cancer Research sensational? In this recent study, new treatment for breast cancer, researchers in Switzerland made a breakthrough when converting breast cancer cells into fat cells. This discovery allowed them not only to stop spreading cancer cells to other parts of the body but also to convert irreversibly breast cancer cells into highly differentiated fat cells.

How the Researchers in Switzerland Founded their Study?

  • The study relied on the plasticity of the newly formed cancer cells
  • Cancer cells are easily adaptable to changes in the environment
  • This plasticity or adaptability of cancer cells allowed them to influence cancer cells by using 2 drugs – FDA approved.

Drugs Used in the Study / Types 2 Diabetes Drugs and Breast Cancer Research

Rosiglitazone: is an oral anti-diabetic drug. It is used to manage diabetes mellitus known as type 2 diabetes.
Trametinib: is a cancer drug that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Mechanism of Action or How these Drugs work?

We already know that cancer cells may break off from the main tumor, enter the bloodstream, and form new malignant tumors in other places in the body. The newly formed cancer cells are in an immature state – This state is similar or known as transitional (Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transitional, EMT). In this stage, the newly formed cancer cells have plasticity and are highly adaptable to the environment. In normal cell division and regeneration EMT are essential for embryonic development and tissue regenerations during the healing process after physical trauma or wound. The study was founded on the plasticity of those cells during metastasis ( when the cells break off from the essential tumor and enter the bloodstream).

Study / Types 2 Diabetes Drugs and Breast Cancer Research
  • Scientists induced breast cancer in lab mice.
  • They started treating the positive for breast cancer mice with two types of drugs:
  • Rosiglitazone – Used for types 2 diabetes management – This drug converts the newly formed breast cancer cells ( stem cells) into fat cells.
  • Trametinib – Used to that influence the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. It Inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
Findings after the 2 Drugs Administration to Mice
  • Some of the cancer cells that broke off from the initial tumor converted into fat cells
  • The growth of the initial tumor was suppressed.
  • The decreased cancer cells’ invasion prevents further metastasis.

According to Gerhard Christofori, a biochemist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, “The breast cancer cells that underwent an epithelial-mesenchymal transformation not only differentiated into fat cells but also completely stopped proliferating (stopped rapid division and reproduction).

Types 2 Diabetes Drugs and Breast Cancer Research / Why the Study Findings are Sensational?
  • Once breast cancer cells are transformed into fat cells they do not divide anymore.
  • There is no more cancer cell production from the converted cells.
  • The fat cells are highly differentiated – unlike cancer cells.
  • The converted cells do not return to their original type cells (cancer cells). Once they are transformed into fat cells they remain the same.
  • The already approved drugs by the FDA makes the study promising for human. It will help with accelerating the trial in humans.
Facts You Must Know / Types 2 Diabetes Drugs and Breast Cancer Research
  • Not all breast cancer cells convert to fat cells.
  • The study is known to be successful in mice but it is still unknown whether it is effective in humans or not. More studies and resources are needed for the effectiveness of the drugs in humans.
  • Even if the study proves to be effective in humans, it will not generate a conventional treatment for breast cancer. This method will be used in combination with the conventional treatment to harness the spread of cancer cells in the body and to amplify the effect of the known treatment for this type of cancer.
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