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Cancer Risk in Diabetic Patients Treated with Metformin: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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      Abstract

      Background

      A growing body of evidence has suggested that metformin potentially reduces the risk of cancer. Our objective was to enhance the precision of estimates of the effect of metformin on the risk of any-site and site-specific cancers in patients with diabetes.

      Methods/Principal Findings

      We performed a search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and ClinicalTrials.gov for pertinent articles published as of October 12, 2011, and included them in a systematic review and meta-analysis. We calculated pooled risk ratios (RRs) for overall cancer mortality and cancer incidence. Of the 21,195 diabetic patients reported in 6 studies (4 cohort studies, 2 RCTs), 991 (4.5%) cases of death from cancer were reported. A total of 11,117 (5.3%) cases of incident cancer at any site were reported among 210,892 patients in 10 studies (2 RCTs, 6 cohort studies, 2 case-control studies). The risks of cancer among metformin users were significantly lower than those among non-metformin users: the pooled RRs (95% confidence interval) were 0.66 (0.49–0.88) for cancer mortality, 0.67 (0.53–0.85) for all-cancer incidence, 0.68 (0.53–0.88) for colorectal cancer (n = 6), 0.20 (0.07–0.59) for hepatocellular cancer (n = 4), 0.67 (0.45–0.99) for lung cancer (n = 3).

      Conclusion/Significance

      The use of metformin in diabetic patients was associated with significantly lower risks of cancer mortality and incidence. However, this analysis is mainly based on observational studies and our findings underscore the more need for long-term RCTs to confirm this potential benefit for individuals with diabetes.

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      Most cited references 99

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          The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement: guidelines for reporting observational studies.

          Much of biomedical research is observational. The reporting of such research is often inadequate, which hampers the assessment of its strengths and weaknesses and of a study's generalizability. The Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) Initiative developed recommendations on what should be included in an accurate and complete report of an observational study. We defined the scope of the recommendations to cover three main study designs: cohort, case-control, and cross-sectional studies. We convened a 2-day workshop in September 2004, with methodologists, researchers, and journal editors to draft a checklist of items. This list was subsequently revised during several meetings of the coordinating group and in e-mail discussions with the larger group of STROBE contributors, taking into account empirical evidence and methodological considerations. The workshop and the subsequent iterative process of consultation and revision resulted in a checklist of 22 items (the STROBE Statement) that relate to the title, abstract, introduction, methods, results, and discussion sections of articles. Eighteen items are common to all three study designs and four are specific for cohort, case-control, or cross-sectional studies. A detailed Explanation and Elaboration document is published separately and is freely available on the web sites of PLoS Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Epidemiology. We hope that the STROBE Statement will contribute to improving the quality of reporting of observational studies.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Diabetes and Metabolic Medicine, Center Hospital, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
            [2 ]Department of Diabetes Research, Diabetes Research Center, Research Institute, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
            Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
            Author notes

            Conceived and designed the experiments: HN MN. Performed the experiments: HN AG TT. Analyzed the data: HN AG TT. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: HN AG TT. Wrote the paper: HN. Reviewed/edited the manuscript: AG TT MN.

            Contributors
            Role: Editor
            Journal
            PLoS One
            PLoS ONE
            plos
            plosone
            PLoS ONE
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
            1932-6203
            2012
            20 March 2012
            : 7
            : 3
            3308971
            22448244
            PONE-D-11-24599
            10.1371/journal.pone.0033411
            (Editor)
            Noto et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
            Counts
            Pages: 9
            Categories
            Research Article
            Medicine
            Anatomy and Physiology
            Endocrine System
            Clinical Research Design
            Endocrinology
            Epidemiology
            Non-Clinical Medicine
            Oncology

            Uncategorized

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