Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Common diabetes drug may treat ovarian cancer

Diabetic patients with ovarian cancer who took the drug metformin for their diabetes had a better survival rate than patients who did not take it, a study headed by Mayo Clinic shows. The findings, published early online in the journal Cancer, may play an important role for researchers as they study the use of existing medications to treat different or new diseases.

Metformin is a widely prescribed drug to treat diabetes, and previous research by others has shown its promise for other cancers. The Mayo-led study adds ovarian cancer to the list.

Researchers compared the survival of 61 patients with ovarian cancer taking metformin and 178 patients who were not taking metformin. Sixty-seven percent of the patients who took metformin were surviving after five years, compared with 47 percent of those who did not take the medication. When the researchers analyzed factors such as the patients' body mass index, the severity of the cancer, type of chemotherapy and quality of surgery, they found that patients taking metformin were nearly four times likelier to survive, compared with those not taking the medication.

"Our study demonstrated improved survival in women with ovarian cancer that were taking metformin," says co-author Sanjeev Kumar, M.B.B.S., a Mayo Clinic gynecologic oncology fellow. "The results are encouraging, but as with any retrospective study, many factors cannot be controlled for us to say if there is a direct cause and effect. Rather, this is further human evidence for a potential beneficial effect of a commonly used drug which is relatively safe in humans. These findings should provide impetus for prospective clinical trials in ovarian cancer."

The results may pave the way for using metformin in large-scale randomized trials in ovarian cancer, researchers say. Given the high mortality rate of ovarian cancer, researchers say there is a great need to develop new therapies for ovarian cancer. Metformin may potentially be one of these options.

Other study authors are Alexandra Meuter, M.D., of Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany; Shailendra Giri, Ph.D., and Ramandeep Rattan, Ph.D., of Henry Ford Health System; Jeremy Chien, Ph.D., of the University of Kansas Medical Center; Prabin Thapa, M.S.; Carrie Langstraat, M.D.; William Cliby, M.D.; and Viji Shridhar, Ph.D. of Mayo Clinic.

This work was supported, in whole or in part, by Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation grant, and CA123249 and P50 CA136393 National Institutes of Health grants.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit and

Journalists can become a member of the Mayo Clinic News Network for the latest health, science and research news and access to video, audio, text and graphic elements that can be downloaded or embedded.

Kelley Luckstein | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>