Researchers discover a key to the survival of dormant breast cancer cells

Trying to understand why dormant breast cancer cells survive despite being starved of estrogen to prevent growth, researchers from Dartmouth’s and Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center found that breakdown of fat to produce energy supports cancer cell survival. This type of fat metabolism is activated by metformin, an anti-diabetes drug being tested in clinical trials as an anti-cancer agent. Their findings suggest that metformin actually has context-dependent effects on cancer cells.