Metformin as an adjunctive therapy for pancreatic cancer: A review of the literature on its potential therapeutic use

Broadhurst, Philip J. and Hart, Andrew R. (2018) Metformin as an adjunctive therapy for pancreatic cancer: A review of the literature on its potential therapeutic use. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 63 (11). 2840–2852. ISSN 0163-2116

[thumbnail of Accepted manuscript]
PDF (Accepted manuscript) - Accepted Version
Download (632kB) | Preview


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma has the worst prognosis of any cancer. New adjuvant chemotherapies are urgently required, which are well tolerated by patients with unresectable cancers. This paper reviews the existing proof of concept data, namely laboratory, pharmacoepidemiological, experimental medicine and clinical trial evidence for investigating metformin in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Laboratory evidence shows metformin inhibits mitochondrial ATP synthesis which directly and indirectly inhibits carcinogenesis. Drug–drug interactions of metformin with proton pump inhibitors and histamine H2-receptor antagonists may be of clinical relevance and pertinent to future research of metformin in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. To date, most cohort studies have demonstrated a positive association with metformin on survival in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, although there are many methodological limitations with such study designs. From experimental medicine studies, there are sparse data in humans. The current trials of metformin have methodological limitations. Two small randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reported null findings, but there were potential inequalities in cancer staging between groups and poor compliance with the intervention. Proof of concept data, predominantly from laboratory work, supports assessing metformin as an adjunct for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in RCTs. Ideally, more experimental medicine studies are needed for proof of concept. However, many feasibility criteria need to be answered before such trials can progress.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: pancreatic cancer,metformin,survival,proof of concept,sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2018 15:30
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 23:51
DOI: 10.1007/s10620-018-5233-y

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item