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Cancer Biol Ther. 2015;16(6):958-64. doi: 10.4161/15384047.2014.962968. Epub 2015 May 29.

Early treatment with metformin induces resistance against tumor growth in adult rats.

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a Laboratory of Secretion Cell Biology; Department of Biotechnology, Genetics and Cell Biology; State University of Maringá ; Maringá, Brazil.


It is known that antidiabetic drug metformin, which is used worldwide, has anti-cancer effects and can be used to prevent cancer growth. We tested the hypothesis that tumor cell growth can be inhibited by early treatment with metformin. For this purpose, adult rats chronically treated with metformin in adolescence or in adulthood were inoculated with Walker 256 carcinoma cells. Adult rats that were treated with metformin during adolescence presented inhibition of tumor growth, and animals that were treated during adult life did not demonstrate any changes in tumor growth. Although we do not have data to disclose a molecular mechanism to the preventive metformin effect, we present, for the first time, results showing that cancer growth in adult life is dependent on early life intervention, thus supporting a new therapeutic prevention for cancer.


AUC, area under the curve; HOMA-IR, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance; HOMA-β, homeostasis model assessment of β-cell function; LBW, body weight loss; MHC-I, major histocompatibility complex class I; NAL, nasal anal length; VEGF, vascular endothelial growth factor.; Walker 256 tumor; adolescence; antidiabetic; early treatment; metformin; prevention; tumor growth inhibition

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