Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Metformin Increases Pathologic Complete Response Rates In Breast Cancer Patients With Diabetes

Date:
June 2, 2008
Source:
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Summary:
Metformin, the common first-line drug for type 2 diabetes, may be effective in increasing pathologic complete response rates in diabetic women with early stage breast cancer who took the drug during chemotherapy prior to having surgery, paving the way for further research of the drug as a potential cancer therapy, according to researchers.

Metformin, the common first-line drug for type 2 diabetes, may be effective in increasing pathologic complete response rates in diabetic women with early stage breast cancer who took the drug during chemotherapy prior to having surgery, paving the way for further research of the drug as a potential cancer therapy, according to researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The retrospective study is the first clinical research observation of the diabetes drug as a potential anti-tumor agent. The findings will be presented in a poster discussion session at the annual meeting at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) by Sao Jirlerspong, M.D., Ph.D., a fellow, and Ana M. Gonzalez-Angulo, M.D., assistant professor, both in M. D. Anderson's Department of Breast Medical Oncology.

Metformin, an oral medication, is the most common drug prescribed for type 2 diabetes; according to Gonzalez-Angulo, more than 35 million prescription of the drug are filled annually. It's most often given to diabetic patients who are obese or have insulin resistance.

The authors decided to conduct the research after a large, intriguing epidemiologic study published last year showed that patients with diabetes who took metformin had lower incidences of cancer as well as better outcomes.

"Metformin has a novel mechanism of action. There have been a number of papers published recently that describe its action through activation of the AMP kinase pathway, which is a cellular energy sensor of the cells and potentially important pathway for the development of cancer," said Jiralerspong.

"The other interesting aspect is that Metformin works by decreasing the amount of insulin- resistance in diabetics and insulin seems to be a growth factor for cancer," said Gonzalez-Angulo.

Using the M. D. Anderson Breast Medical Oncology database, Gonzalez-Angulo, Jiralerspong and their team identified 2,529 women with early-stage breast cancer who received chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant setting, before surgery. Of the patients, 2,374 were non-diabetic, 68 were diabetic but not taking metaformin and 87 were diabetic and taking the drug. The study's endpoint was pathologic complete response, or the absence of cancer at the time of surgery.

The researchers found that the pathologic complete response rates in the diabetic breast cancer patients taking Metformin was 24 percent, three times higher than the rates in diabetic patients not taking the drug, 8 percent. In the non-diabetic women, the pathologic complete response rate was 16 percent. After adjusting for other factors, the researchers found that metformin was an independent predictor of pathologic complete response in diabetic patients.

While very exciting, the findings are still very early, cautioned Jiralerspong and Gonzalez-Angulo, and further investigation with metformin is needed.

"We need to study the mechanism of the drug - perhaps it's the decrease in insulin levels, or it may be that the drug has an anti-tumor effect that we to look at in vivo," said Gonzalez-Angulo. "Our next step is to conduct a number correlative studies to try and further understand its mechanism."

M. D. Anderson also plans to open a clinical trial with metformin in combination with hormonal therapy for metastatic breast cancer patients who are obese. The study will be led by Francisco Esteva, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology.

In addition to Gonzalez-Angulo and Jiralerspong, other authors of the all-M. D. Anderson study include: Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D., Mien Chie Hung, Ph.D., Sharon Giordano, M.D., Funda Meric-Bernstam, M.D., Chad Barnett and Shu-Wan Kau.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Metformin Increases Pathologic Complete Response Rates In Breast Cancer Patients With Diabetes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602132231.htm>.
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. (2008, June 2). Metformin Increases Pathologic Complete Response Rates In Breast Cancer Patients With Diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602132231.htm
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "Metformin Increases Pathologic Complete Response Rates In Breast Cancer Patients With Diabetes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602132231.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins