Metformin and Prostate Cancer: a New Role for an Old Drug.
Whitburn J., Edwards CM., Sooriakumaran P.
Since epidemiological studies first demonstrated a potential positive effect of metformin in reducing cancer incidence and mortality, there has been an increased interest in not only better understanding metformin's mechanisms of action but also in exploring its potential anti-cancer effects. In this review, we aim to summarise the current evidence exploring a role for metformin in prostate cancer therapy.Preclinical studies have demonstrated a number of antineoplastic biological effects via a range of molecular mechanisms. Data from retrospective epidemiological studies in prostate cancer has been mixed; however, there are several clinical trials currently underway evaluating metformin's role as an anti-cancer agent. Early studies have shown benefits of metformin to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and improve metabolic syndrome in prostate cancer patients receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). While the body of evidence to support a role for metformin in prostate cancer therapy is rapidly growing, there is still insufficient data from randomised trials, which are currently still ongoing. However, evidence so far suggests metformin could be a useful adjuvant agent, particularly in patients on ADT.