Could Metformin Be Key to Fighting Ovarian Cancer?

Researchers have suspected metformin to hold anti-cancer properties for years.  They noticed that cancer patients taking the commonly prescribed diabetes drug live longer than their counterparts.  Most nurse practitioners have probably written hundreds of prescriptions for metformin throughout their careers unaware of it's cancer-fighting properties. 

Research released by the Mayo Clinic this week indicates that metformin may be particularly effective in combating ovarian cancer.  The deadliest cancer among women, ovarian cancer has a 68% mortality rate.  Scientists had established the link between ovarian cancer survival and metformin on mice and recently decided to test the link in humans.  Dr. Sanjeev Kumar and his research team made some interesting discoveries. 

In his study, Kumar found that ovarian cancer patients taking metformin had a five-year survival rate of 67% versus 47% for patients not taking metformin.  When his research was adjusted for individual factors like BMI and stage of cancer diagnosis, patients taking metformin had a survival rate four times higher than those who were not on the drug. 

Metformin is not a cure for ovarian cancer.  Metformin fights cancer by reducing energy supply to cancer cells inhibiting tumor growth and metastasis.  Researchers hope this link will be common among other types of cancer as well.  Although not a cure, metformin shows promise as a cancer-fighting agent.

Encourage your cancer patients to ask their oncologists if taking metformin might be an option for their treatment regimen.