An additional role for metformin in cancer prevention?

In more than 110,000 patients with cancer, they showed that, although 7.5% of patients with type 2 diabetes had a 10% higher all-cause mortality than those without diabetes, the patients taking metformin had a 15% lower mortality rate.

In contrast, the 20-year retrospective cohort study showed those taking sulphonylureas or insulin alone had a 13% increased mortality rate compared with patients without diabetes.

People with type 2 diabetes had 32% higher mortality from breast cancer and 19% higher mortality from prostate cancer, but 16% lower mortality from lung cancer.

“The… observation, [raises] the possibility that metformin might come to play a wider role in cancer prevention and therapy,” the authors said.

Diabetes Care 2012;

35: 299-304