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25 November 2008

Should Cancer Drugs Be Used to Treat Diabetics?

Two common cancer drugs have been shown to both prevent and reverse type 1 diabetes in a mouse model of the disease. The drugs are imatinib (marketed as Gleevec) and sunitinib (marketed as Sutent). Both were found to put type 1 diabetes into remission in 80 percent of the test mice and work permanently in 80 percent of those that go into remission.

So, should they be hailed as a new miracle treatment? I wouldn’t be so hasty. Gleevec, for example, kills heart muscle cells and can cause severe congestive heart failure. If the cure is worse than the disease, this doesn’t seem to be a great benefit.

A better way is to prevent type 1 diabetes in the first place, using natural means like vitamin D.

Sources: November 18, 2008

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