Does metformin treatment reduce cancer-associated mortality in type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), and is there an association between type 2 diabetes mellitus and postoperative pneumonia?

Updated: Oct 23, 2019
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

In a meta-analysis of 20 publications comprising 13,008 cancer patients with concurrent type 2 diabetes, researchers found that patients treated with metformin had better overall and cancer-specific survival than those treated with other types of glucose-lowering agents. [92, 93] These improvements were observed across cancer subtypes and geographic locations. Risk reduction was significant among patients with prostate, pancreatic, breast, colorectal and other cancers, but not for those with lung cancer. However, it remains unclear whether metformin can modulate clinical outcomes in cancer patients with diabetes.

A study by López-de-Andrés et al found the incidence of postoperative pneumonia in patients with type 2 diabetes to be 21% higher than in nondiabetic patients, although the risk of inhospital mortality following the development of postoperative pneumonia was no greater in the presence of type 2 diabetes. [94]


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