Diabetes medication has potential to prevent ovarian cancer: Canadian study

10.10.2019

Diabetes medication has potential to prevent ovarian cancer: Canadian study

Last Updated Wednesday, October 9, 2019 10:42PM EDT

Lead author Curtis McCloskey, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Toronto's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, says one of the primary risk factors for ovarian cancer is the number of ovulations a woman has throughout her lifetime.

The research team examined 27 ovaries removed from women between the ages of 21 and 82. McCloskey says most of the ovaries from post-menopausal women were fibrotic.

“And then one ovary looked just like young ovaries ... and I was like, 'Urg, my hypothesis might not be fully true.”'

“And there weren't many studies that followed up on how this might be happening.”

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer in women, and among the deadliest, with a five-year survival rate of 45 per cent. Women who have a family history of ovarian cancer or a mutation of the BRCA gene are at greatest risk of the disease, Vanderhyden says.

“Our goal is to find a middle ground, where women who still are having children or still wanting to have children but are known to be at high risk, might have something that they can take that would reduce that risk until the point where they feel more comfortable in having their reproductive tissues removed,” she says.

“Some sort of method like that would have to be developed, I think, to monitor if the drug is doing what we think it's doing in patients.”

Read more: CP24

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