Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer. 2011 Nov 15;117(22):5103-11. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26151. Epub 2011 Apr 26.

Prognostic influence of metformin as first-line chemotherapy for advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Author information

Department of Medical Oncology, Cancer Center, the State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.



It has been reported that antidiabetic drugs affect the risk of cancer and the prognosis of patients with diabetes, but few studies have demonstrated the influence of different antidiabetic agents on outcomes after anticancer therapy among patients with cancer. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of the antidiabetic drugs metformin and insulin on the prognosis of patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) plus type 2 diabetes who received first-line chemotherapy.


Data on patients with NSCLC who had diabetes from 5 hospitals in China during January 2004 to March 2009 were reviewed retrospectively. Ninety-nine patients were included in the final analysis. The influence of metformin and insulin on chemotherapy response rates and survival in these patients was evaluated.


Chemotherapy with metformin (Group A) produced superior results compared with insulin (Group B) and compared with drugs other than metformin and insulin (Group C) in terms of both progression-free survival (PFS) (8.4 months vs 4.7 months vs 6.4 months, respectively; P = .002) and overall survival (OS) (20.0 months vs 13.1 months vs 13.0 months, respectively; P = .007). Although no significant differences in the response rate (RR) were observed between these 3 groups, when groups B and C (ie, the nonmetformin group) were combined, there was a tendency for better disease control in Group A than that in nonmetformin group. No significant difference in survival was observed between chemotherapy with insulin (Group B) versus other drugs (Group C).


The current data suggested that metformin may improve chemotherapy outcomes and survival for patients who have NSCLC with diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center