What is the impact of metformin treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) on survival rate in cancer patients?

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, Yin et al 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 lung cancer. [93] However, it remains unclear whether metformin can modulate clinical outcomes in cancer patients with diabetes.


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