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Metformin is a frequently used medication for patients with type II diabetes mellitus (DM) that has received increased attention, because of a study from pharmacy and disease databases showing decreased cancer incidence in individuals taking metformin. Metformin inhibits the growth of breast and prostate cancer cell lines.
In vitro and in vivo experiments showed modest inhibition of tumor growth in breast cancer cell line lacking estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors. Metformin has also shown reduced incidence of pancreatic cancer in hamsters and delays onset to mammary ref and other tumors.
Diabetics treated with metformin have reduced cancer risk, although it is unclear whether metformin affects cancer directly or indirectly by inhibiting the diabetic state. The present project is aimed at the development and characterisation of chitosan nanoparticles capable of delivering metformin drug for potential therapeutic application in pancreatic cancer.