Metformin and statins: possible improved outcomes in patients with metastatic prostate cancer

Categories: Winter 2023
P9A Oldfield Reflection
©Dan Oldfield

Considering the possible association between obesity (e.g., metabolic syndrome) and the development and progression of prostate cancer, metformin, a medicine commonly used to treat diabetes, could be considered for use alone or in combination with other treatments to reduce the risk of suffering and death from prostate cancer. To date, the available studies have reported conflicting results regarding the use of metformin and the risk of prostate cancer incidence and survival outcomes.


An approved effective method of treating patients with metastatic prostate cancer is hormonal therapy that consists of injections (e,g., Lupron, Zoladex, Eligard, Firmagon, etc.) and some medications taken orally. When these treatments work, the testosterone levels of the patients decrease dramatically, thereby diminishing or retarding the metastatic growth. If maximum hormonal therapy ceases to be effective, the patients are termed “castrate-resistant” and need other therapies. It has been recently shown that metformin and statins (an oral treatment used primarily to lower cholesterol) may have some benefits. These therapies are not expensive and have mild side effects. Prospective phase III studies are underway.

Wilson et al. Euro J Can 2022 PMID: 35568679




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