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Diabetes Drug may cut Lung Cancer Risk

Thiazolidinediones (TZDs), a class of diabetic drugs, may significantly reduce the risk of death among patients with type 2 diabetes and lung cancer.

Dr. Luke Ratnasinghe of the National Center for Toxilogical Research at the US Food and Drug Administration and lead author of the study, noted that aside from being a preventive medication agent, TZDs can also help improve the outcome or lifespan of lung cancer patients. Common drugs under the TZD class are rosiglitazone and pioglitazone. The study involved roughly 128,000 diabetic men, 40 years old or older. A total of 3,600 individuals also had lung cancer.

Results of the study show that patients with type 2 diabetes who were taking TZDs had a 30 percent reduced risk of getting lung cancer. Moreover, patients who had diabetes and lung cancer who are taking TZDs also had a 30 percent reduced rate of death compared to patients with diabetes and lung cancer who were not taking TZDs. According to Ratnasinghe, more related studies are needed to see whether TZDs do help reduce death rates among lung cancer patients with or without diabetes.

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