There have been prior studies that have shown that the generic and inexpensive drug Metformin (used to treat diabetes) could be repurposed and used to decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer as well as to treat prostate cancer. Previous studies suggested that metformin is associated with decreased risk of cancer; however, results specifically addressing the potential association with prostate cancer were limited and contradictory.
In a recent literature review using the databases of PubMed and Embase prior to January 2014 the association between metformin and the incidence, mortality and recurrence of prostate cancer was evaluated by performing a meta-analysis. The analysis evaluated the strength of association between metformin therapy and risk of prostate cancer.
In the thirteen studies that involved a total of 334,532 men when compared to a control group metformin therapy was associated with significantly decreased incidence of prostate cancer, but it was not associated with decreased all-cause mortality or the decreased recurrence of prostate.
This study dashes our hope that metformin therapy could be a provide an inexpensive treatment option for men diagnosed with prostate cancer it still might help to decrease the incidence of prostate cancer.
Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2015 Feb 23. Epub ahead of print. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.2645
Joel T Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.