According to an article on Yahoo News, a group of Ecuadoreans with Laron syndrome have helped scientists learn of a mutation that has kept them relatively free of diabetes and cancer. According to the study, it seems that those afflicted with Laron syndrome have low levels of an insulin-like growth factor (IFG1). The participants in the study were followed for 22 years and none of the study members developed diabetes and only one developed cancer.
According to Valter Longo, one of the study's authors, if the deficiencies in IFG1 are extendable to everyone else, "then you could, with a drug that was already available, reduce the incidence of cancer and diabetes". While this might sound good, Felipe Sierra, director of the Division of Aging Biology at the National Institute on Aging, cautions against getting one's hopes up. He warns that everything is inter-related in our bodies and that changing these complex insulin-growth pathways may result in additional complications.
You can read more about the study results in the February 16th issue of Science Translational Medicine