Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Cancer Ther. 2010 May;9(5):1092-9. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-09-1186. Epub 2010 May 4.

Metformin in cancer therapy: a new perspective for an old antidiabetic drug?

Author information

INSERM U895, Team 7: Cellular and Molecular Physiopathology of Obesity and Diabetes, Nice, France.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center