The results showed that the drug acted on the defence mechanisms of the cancer cells. These mechanisms make the cancer cells resistant to treatment and can even help them grow faster.
The study revealed that the diabetes drug, metaformin, reverses these mechanisms, making the cells less resistant to radiotherapy.
Lead author, Dr Theodoros Tsakiridis, said: “We’re now working with other institutions to develop a clinical trial that will investigate metformin in lung cancer patients treated with radiotherapy. If we can prove that this works in patients then we could have a potentially powerful weapon in the fight against the disease.”