Use of metformin and outcome of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma: Pooled analysis

for the EORTC Brain Tumor Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Metformin has been linked to improve survival of patients with various cancers. There is little information on survival of glioblastoma patients after use of metformin. We assessed the association between metformin use and survival in a pooled analysis of patient data from 1,731 individuals from the randomized AVAglio, CENTRIC and CORE trials. We performed multivariate Cox analyses for overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) comparing patients' use of metformin at baseline and/or during concomitant radiochemotherapy (TMZ/RT). Further exploratory analyses investigated the effect of metformin with a history of diabetes and nonfasting glucose levels in relation to OS or PFS of glioblastoma patients. Metformin alone or in any combination was not significantly associated with OS or PFS (at baseline, hazard ratio [HR] for OS = 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.65–1.16; HR for PFS = 0.84; 95% CI = 0.64–1.10; during TMZ/RT HR for OS = 0.97; 95% CI = 0.68–1.38; HR for PFS = 1.02; 95% CI = 0.74–1.41). We found a statistically nonsignificant association of metformin monotherapy with glioblastoma survival at baseline (HR for OS = 0.68; 95% CI = 0.42–1.10; HR for PFS = 0.57; 95% CI = 0.36–0.91), but not during the TMZ/RT period (HR for OS = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.51–1.56; HR for PFS = 1.05; 95% CI = 0.64–1.73). Diabetes mellitus or increased nonfasting glucose levels were not associated with a difference in OS or PFS in our selected study population. Metformin did not prolong survival of patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma in our analysis. Additional studies may identify patients with specific tumor characteristics that are associated with potential benefit from treatment with metformin, possibly due to metabolic vulnerabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-809
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • drug repurposing
  • glioblastoma
  • metformin
  • overall survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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