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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Aug;22(8):1364-73. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0347. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

A cohort study of metformin exposure and survival in patients with stage I-III colorectal cancer.

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1
Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Preclinical evidence suggests a beneficial effect of metformin in colorectal cancer. This study aimed to investigate associations between metformin exposure and colorectal cancer-specific survival using population-level data.

METHODS:

Adult patients with stage I-III colorectal cancer diagnosed from 2001 to 2006 were identified from the National Cancer Registry Ireland. Use of metformin and other antidiabetic medications was determined from a linked national prescription claims database. Multivariate Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between prediagnostic metformin exposure (versus nonmetformin antidiabetic drugs) and colorectal cancer-specific mortality. Models were stratified by antidiabetic drug coprescription and intensity of metformin exposure.

RESULTS:

The cohort included 207 diabetics who received metformin, 108 diabetics not exposed to metformin, and 3,501 nondiabetic patients. In multivariate analyses, a nonsignificant reduction in colorectal cancer-specific mortality was observed for metformin-exposed patients relative to other treated diabetics (HR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.37-1.01). In stratified analyses, no significant association was observed for patients receiving low-intensity metformin or metformin in combination with other antidiabetic drugs. High-intensity exclusive metformin use was associated with a significant reduction in colorectal cancer-specific mortality (HR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.20-0.95).

CONCLUSIONS:

Significant associations between metformin exposure and colorectal cancer-specific mortality were observed only for high-intensity exclusive metformin use in the diabetic cohort.

IMPACT:

This study provides moderate evidence of an association between metformin exposure and improved colorectal cancer survival in a diabetic population. Additional studies in larger cohorts, with detailed information on diabetes severity, are required to confirm these results.

PMID:
23753040
DOI:
10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0347
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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