Metformin is the most widely used antidiabetic drug in the world, and there is increasing evidence of a potential efficacy of this agent as an anticancer drug. First, epidemiological studies show a decrease in cancer incidence in metformin-treated patients. Second, metformin decreases insulin resistance and indirectly reduces insulin level, a beneficial effect because insulin promotes cancer cell growth. Third, several reports outline a direct inhibitory effect of metformin on cancer cell growth and an antitumoral action. Finally, metformin activates the AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway, a major sensor of the energetic status of the cell, which has been proposed as a promising therapeutic target in cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research