case-control study published early online in Cancer in which the authors concluded that metformin use was associated with better survival in patients w/ovarian cancer compared to non-use. Wow! Talk about a game changer! Here's a cheap, readily available medication w/ minimal side effect profile and risk of adverse events. Sure, it carries a Black Box warning but realistically, unless you have bad kidneys, the likelihood of developing lactic acidosis is very small . Well, at least it's small enough to rate this medication as a first-line option in diabetes . Best yet, while metformin helps lower high blood sugars (by improving insulin sensitivity), when used in isolation w/o most any other drug, especially insulins & sulfonylureas, it cannot cause hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar).So I woke up yesterday to find a
Does this mean we need to put every woman suffering from ovarian cancer on metformin? Absolutely not! You can't make a presumption of cause & effect based upon a case-control study. Furthermore, it would definitely be a case of jumping the gun to consider therapeutic changes based upon a study of just 72 cases (ovarian cancer w/diabetes on metformin) compared to 143 controls (ovarian cancer w/o diabetes or metformin). A further subset analysis was performed on 61 cases of epithelial ovarian cancer w/diabetes on metformin compared to 178 controls (epithelial ovarian cancer w/o diabetes or metformin).
Where does this leave us? Obviously, the 1st question to address is whether this is a fluke or a trend. If you read the article , you'll see that this is definitely not a fluke. The authors looked for this result based upon a prior study published in April 2005 in the British Medical Journal that took notice of new findings in cellular signaling pathways. Bottom line: there's definitely some science behind this "new" finding.