A new study suggests that the common diabetes medication metformin may be considered for use in the prevention or treatment of ovarian cancer. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study found that ovarian cancer patients who took the drug tended to live longer than patients who did not take it.
New treatments are desperately needed for ovarian cancer. Previous research has indicated that metformin, which originates from the French Lilac plant, may have anticancer properties. To look for an effect of the medication in ovarian cancer, Viji Shridhar, PhD, Sanjeev Kumar, MD, both of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and their colleagues analyzed information from 61 patients with ovarian cancer who took metformin and 178 patients who did not.
Sixty-seven percent of those who took metformin had not died from ovarian cancer within five years, compared with 47 percent of those who did not take the medication. After accounting for factors such as cancer severity and patients' body mass index, the investigators found that patients taking metformin were 3.7 times more likely to survive throughout the study than those not taking it.
The findings demonstrate only a correlation between metformin intake and better survival, and additional studies are needed to decipher whether the observations made in this study represent a true beneficial effect of metformin in patients with ovarian cancer.
"This study opens the door for using metformin in large-scale randomized trials in ovarian cancer which can ultimately lead to metformin being one option for treatment of patients with the disease," said Dr. Shridhar. Such trials are currently underway in breast cancer. "We think that ovarian cancer research needs to follow that example," said Dr. Kumar.
This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.
Arizona death row inmate Joseph Wood took almost 2 hours to die – why is a drug combination is being experimented with in the death chamber?
Scientists have discovered what may be the most common virus in people worldwide. The tiny critter doesn't make us sick but may be involved in obesity and diabetes.
Paracetamol, a painkiller universally recommended to treat people with acute low back pain, does not speed recovery or reduce pain from the condition, according to the results of a large trial published on Thursday.
Bone marrow grafts have helped both patients stay all but virus-free for three years. But the disease has come back before in others, and a simpler treatment is needed
Low levels of alcohol can improve your ability to discriminate between different odours, but be warned, the effect is reversed if you drink too much
Modified mozzies will be raised and released on a commercial scale for the first time, but critics warn that this biotech has not been sufficiently tested
Locally acquired cases of chikungunya virus have been identified in the US for the first time, while cases soar in Europe and Central America
A significant percentage of obese kids think their weight is just fine. But do they need to know the truth to get healthier?
Cancer-fighting drug romidepsin has been shown to expose hibernating HIV, making it susceptible to attack
Oversleep causes a feeling similar to feeling hung over and it's caused by the same biological function that gives you jet lag.