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Repurposing metformin for cancer treatment: current clinical studies

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      Abstract

      In recent years, several studies have presented evidence suggesting a potential role for metformin in anti-cancer therapy. Preclinical studies have demonstrated several anticancer molecular mechanisms of metformin including mTOR inhibition, cytotoxic effects, and immunomodulation. Epidemiologic data have demonstrated decreased cancer incidence and mortality in patients taking metformin. Several clinical trials, focused on evaluation of metformin as an anti-cancer agent are presently underway. Data published from a small number of completed trials has put forth intriguing results. Clinical trials in pre-surgical endometrial cancer patients exhibited a significant decrease in Ki67 with metformin monotherapy. Another interesting observation was made in patients with breast cancer, wherein a trend towards improvement in cancer proliferation markers was noted in patients without insulin resistance. Data on survival outcomes with the use of metformin as an anti-cancer agent is awaited. This manuscript will critically review the role of metformin as a potential cancer treatment.

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      Most cited references 57

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      Combined Nivolumab and Ipilimumab or Monotherapy in Untreated Melanoma.

      Nivolumab (a programmed death 1 [PD-1] checkpoint inhibitor) and ipilimumab (a cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 [CTLA-4] checkpoint inhibitor) have been shown to have complementary activity in metastatic melanoma. In this randomized, double-blind, phase 3 study, nivolumab alone or nivolumab plus ipilimumab was compared with ipilimumab alone in patients with metastatic melanoma. We assigned, in a 1:1:1 ratio, 945 previously untreated patients with unresectable stage III or IV melanoma to nivolumab alone, nivolumab plus ipilimumab, or ipilimumab alone. Progression-free survival and overall survival were coprimary end points. Results regarding progression-free survival are presented here. The median progression-free survival was 11.5 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.9 to 16.7) with nivolumab plus ipilimumab, as compared with 2.9 months (95% CI, 2.8 to 3.4) with ipilimumab (hazard ratio for death or disease progression, 0.42; 99.5% CI, 0.31 to 0.57; P<0.001), and 6.9 months (95% CI, 4.3 to 9.5) with nivolumab (hazard ratio for the comparison with ipilimumab, 0.57; 99.5% CI, 0.43 to 0.76; P<0.001). In patients with tumors positive for the PD-1 ligand (PD-L1), the median progression-free survival was 14.0 months in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group and in the nivolumab group, but in patients with PD-L1-negative tumors, progression-free survival was longer with the combination therapy than with nivolumab alone (11.2 months [95% CI, 8.0 to not reached] vs. 5.3 months [95% CI, 2.8 to 7.1]). Treatment-related adverse events of grade 3 or 4 occurred in 16.3% of the patients in the nivolumab group, 55.0% of those in the nivolumab-plus-ipilimumab group, and 27.3% of those in the ipilimumab group. Among previously untreated patients with metastatic melanoma, nivolumab alone or combined with ipilimumab resulted in significantly longer progression-free survival than ipilimumab alone. In patients with PD-L1-negative tumors, the combination of PD-1 and CTLA-4 blockade was more effective than either agent alone. (Funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb; CheckMate 067 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01844505.).
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        Management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes, 2015: a patient-centered approach: update to a position statement of the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

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          TSC2 mediates cellular energy response to control cell growth and survival.

          Mutations in either the TSC1 or TSC2 tumor suppressor gene are responsible for Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. The gene products of TSC1 and TSC2 form a functional complex and inhibit the phosphorylation of S6K and 4EBP1, two key regulators of translation. Here, we describe that TSC2 is regulated by cellular energy levels and plays an essential role in the cellular energy response pathway. Under energy starvation conditions, the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylates TSC2 and enhances its activity. Phosphorylation of TSC2 by AMPK is required for translation regulation and cell size control in response to energy deprivation. Furthermore, TSC2 and its phosphorylation by AMPK protect cells from energy deprivation-induced apoptosis. These observations demonstrate a model where TSC2 functions as a key player in regulation of the common mTOR pathway of protein synthesis, cell growth, and viability in response to cellular energy levels.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            1 Northwestern Medicine Developmental Therapeutics Institute, Chicago, IL, USA
            2 Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA
            3 Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA
            4 David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
            5 Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA
            Author notes
            Correspondence to: Young Kwang Chae, young.chae@ 123456northwestern.edu
            Journal
            Oncotarget
            Oncotarget
            Oncotarget
            ImpactJ
            Oncotarget
            Impact Journals LLC
            1949-2553
            28 June 2016
            19 March 2016
            : 7
            : 26
            : 40767-40780
            27004404 5130043 8194 10.18632/oncotarget.8194
            Copyright: © 2016 Chae 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.

            Categories
            Review

            Oncology & Radiotherapy

            cancer, clinical trials, metformin

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