Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Diabetes drug 'starves cancer cells'

  • 1 Comment

A diabetes drug could kill cancerous cells by effectively “starving” them of energy, scientists have suggested.

By blocking a key controller of energy production in the cells and treating them with metformin, the cells starve and die, researchers from Cancer Research UK found.

Cancer cells are able to split and grow swiftly. They do this through changing to a method of producing energy, which breaks down glucose in a process called glycolysis.

The process is controlled by NF-kB, a protein complex.

When glucose levels run low, this protein switches energy production to a different process that does not rely on glucose. But blocking NF-kB in cancer cells leaves them unable to make this change, effectively starving them to death.

In the lab, the researchers found that they could kill bowel cancer cells by targeting NF-kB.

Lead researcher based at Imperial College London, Professor Guido Franzoso, said: “This is the first time that NF-Kb has been shown to control how cells generate energy.”


  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Lets hope this treatment will be available soon, once the research is complete

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.