Metformin may lower cancer risk in people with Type 2 diabetes

June 25, 2012, The Endocrine Society

A commonly prescribed diabetes drug, metformin, reduces the overall cancer risk in people with Type 2 diabetes, a large systematic review study finds. The results to be presented at The Endocrine Society's 94th Annual Meeting in Houston.

" increases the risk for several types of cancer," said lead author Diego Espinoza-Peralta, MD, an endocrinologist with Mexico's National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition (Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutricion) in Mexico City. "Our findings suggest that the regular use of metformin—a low-cost medication— reduces this risk, compared with not taking metformin."

Espinoza-Peralta and his colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis, or combined statistical analysis, of reported studies that evaluated cancer risk in patients with Type 2 diabetes. They analyzed seven relevant studies that included more than 32,400 Type 2 diabetic patients who had no other known condition that increased their .

The investigators found that the odds of getting any type of cancer was 0.62 times less—an estimated 38 percent relative risk reduction—with daily continuous use of metformin than for those with no exposure to metformin.

"This risk reduction with metformin use extended to certain types of cancers, specifically colon and breast cancer," Espinoza-Peralta said.

Colorectal cancer and breast cancer are among the cancers that studies have found to occur more often in people with Type 2 diabetes. There was no risk reduction, however, in pancreatic cancer, another type of cancer for which people with Type 2 diabetes are at increased risk, the authors reported.

Metformin, which is the standard recommended initial treatment of Type 2 , may protect against cancer because it regulates activity of an enzyme that suppresses cell growth, according to Espinoza-Peralta.

"There is growing evidence that brings more benefits to diabetic patients beyond glucose control," he said.

Explore further: Diabetes drug metformin shows promise in reducing risk of cancer

Related Stories

Diabetes drug metformin shows promise in reducing risk of cancer

November 23, 2011
An inexpensive drug that treats Type-2 diabetes has been shown to prevent a number of natural and man-made chemicals from stimulating the growth of breast cancer cells, according to a newly published study by a Michigan State ...

New study examines risks and benefits of the first line treatment for diabetes

April 10, 2012
Although the drug metformin is considered the gold standard in the management of type 2 diabetes, a study by a group of French researchers published in this week's PLoS Medicine suggests that the long-term benefits of this ...

Metformin may lower risk for oral cancer development

April 2, 2012
New findings published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggest that metformin may protect against oral cancer.

Diabetes drug metformin may cut breast cancer risk in older women

June 11, 2012
(HealthDay) -- A widely prescribed drug, metformin, may lower the risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women with diabetes, a new study indicates.

Metformin appeared to slow prostate cancer growth

April 1, 2012
The use of metformin in men with prostate cancer before prostatectomy helped to reduce certain metabolic parameters and slow the growth rate of the cancer, according to the results of a phase II study.

Recommended for you

Genetic discovery may help better identify children at risk for type 1 diabetes

January 17, 2018
Six novel chromosomal regions identified by scientists leading a large, prospective study of children at risk for type 1 diabetes will enable the discovery of more genes that cause the disease and more targets for treating ...

Thirty-year study shows women who breastfeed for six months or more reduce their diabetes risk

January 16, 2018
In a long-term national study, breastfeeding for six months or longer cuts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes nearly in half for women throughout their childbearing years, according to new Kaiser Permanente research published ...

Women who have gestational diabetes in pregnancy are at higher risk of future health issues

January 16, 2018
Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy have a higher than usual risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease in the future, according to new research led by the ...

Diabetes gene found that causes low and high blood sugar levels in the same family

January 15, 2018
A study of families with rare blood sugar conditions has revealed a new gene thought to be critical in the regulation of insulin, the key hormone in diabetes.

Discovery could lead to new therapies for diabetics

January 12, 2018
New research by MDI Biological Laboratory scientist Sandra Rieger, Ph.D., and her team has demonstrated that an enzyme she had previously identified as playing a role in peripheral neuropathy induced by cancer chemotherapy ...

Enzyme shown to regulate inflammation and metabolism in fat tissue

January 11, 2018
The human body has two primary kinds of fat—white fat, which stores excess calories and is associated with obesity, and brown fat, which burns calories in order to produce heat and has garnered interest as a potential means ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.