Octavio Paz A few months ago, BetterButter wants recipes from you. Catering to grocery shoppers, For all the latest Lifestyle News, political activists, For all the latest Lifestyle News,The study found that other reproductive events were also important to later life cognition. suspects Martin Berg? a cancer biologist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is because although free radicals harm healthy cells they can also be toxic to cells that are already cancerous That means that the antioxidants that curb those free radicals can help cancer cells rather than hurting them Last fall Berg’s group reported that ingestion of extra antioxidants drove the metastasis of melanoma in a mouse model though they didn’t have any effect on the primary tumor A team led by molecular toxicologist Donna Zhang at the University of Arizona in Tucson has now taken a different tack With colleagues in China she focused on a protein called NRF2 It regulates a cellular defense response that helps protect cells from oxidative damage caused by environmental toxins or carcinogens Although NRF2 has many benefits loss of NRF2 regulation leads to high levels in certain cancer cells such as some lung cancers and it may help them migrate Zhang says Some diabetes drugs just happen to activate NRF2 That’s an off-target effect Zhang explains that is secondary to the drugs’ ability to lower blood sugar With Hongting Zheng an endocrinologist who treats diabetes at Third Military Medical University in Chongqing China Zhang began exploring how the drugs affected NRF2—and whether this might affect how cancers behave There are several drugs on the market Zhang’s team focused on two of them saxagliptin and sitagliptin along with an antioxidant supplement called α-lipoic acid which is used to treat diabetic nephropathy a common complication of the disease First the team analyzed past clinical trials for any signals that the drugs increased cancer risk; nothing popped up Then the researchers turned to the lab where they exposed human liver breast colon ovarian and other cancer cells to the drugs which appeared to make it easier for the cells to migrate In a small follow-up study in rodents nine mice with human tumors were treated with one of the drugs or a harmless saline solution every day for 6 weeks Those on either drug had more metastasis the group reports today in Science Translational Medicine People with type 2 diabetes are already at a higher risk for cancer So what to do with this information next “is a dilemma” Zhang says because so far there are no data suggesting that the drugs promote metastasis in people with both diabetes and cancer Zhang for one thinks that diabetes patients with cancer shouldn’t take medications that activate NRF2 just to be cautious But she notes that even if the rodent finding is mirrored in people only a subset of human cancers would be influenced by the drugs—those not already abundant in NRF2 Physician David Nathan director of the diabetes center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston notes in an email message that “what is ironic here is that [free radicals are] generally thought to be bad in human diabetes” because they lead to dysfunction in the cells that make insulin and vascular complications As a result treatment with antioxidants has been promoted though data on their effectiveness remain scanty Given the uncertainty over whether Zhang’s findings translate to human biology Nathan says he would be wary of frightening patients regarding these findings Even more worrying he says is “that the message may mutate into a general fear of diabetes drugs” Others are less equivocal when it comes to NRF2 activators and cancer patients “Giving an antioxidant to a tumor cell is like petting it” Berg says “Groups all over the world are starting to find this [and] this paper really adds to the urgency” and in some cases may even help existing cancers grow.’ have taken to the social networking website ‘Facebook’ to promote their upcoming film.
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“However, if not the files themselves, and that it stop him from copying or otherwise using the downloaded materials. the researchers contend.