|Metformin in Prostate Cancer|
Why metformin in prostate cancer?
- Approximately 20-30% of men treated with surgery or radiation will develop recurrence of their prostate cancer, which most commonly manifests as a rising PSA level in the blood, commonly referred to as a “biochemical recurrence”.
- This can occur many years before any evidence of cancer spread can be detected on imaging tests such as CT scans or bone scans.
- Standard therapy for prostate cancer that has spread is treatment to lower the testosterone level in the body (aka, androgen deprivation therapy or ‘hormonal therapy’). This treatment has unfavorable side effects. Whether such treatment should be started for patients with a rising PSA, without any evidence of detectable spread on cancer on scans, is controversial.
- Metformin is an oral drug used to treat diabetes. Several lines of evidence point to a potential for metformin to be effective in the treatment of prostate cancer.
- Epidemiologic studies of patients with prostate cancer and diabetes have shown that patients taking metformin may have a lower likelihood of recurrence of the prostate cancer after surgery or radiation, and they may have a lower likelihood of dying of prostate cancer, when compared to patients not taking the drug.
- Metformin can be tested for efficacy in patients with prostate cancer who experience a recurrence, as manifested by a rising PSA blood level after surgery or radiation. If clinical studies confirm its utility, it may provide an alternative for patients with prostate cancer, delaying or preventing the need for androgen deprivation therapy.
Please take part in designing an innovative clinical study of metformin in patients with recurrent prostate cancer, as manifested by a rising PSA blood test (biochemical recurrence), after surgery or radiation.
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