Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have shown that ovarian cancer patients who were taking the common diabetes drug metformin survived longer than patients who weren’t on the drug. The research was published online in the journal Cancer. Two former OCRF grantees, Jeremy Chien, PhD, and Ramandeep Rattan, PhD, were among the paper’s authors.
While metformin (also called Glucophage) is typically prescribed to type II diabetes patients to lower blood sugar, the drug has also shown promise against several cancers. In this study, researchers looked at medical records of ovarian cancer patients who were using metformin at the time of their diagnosis, and compared them to a control group of patients who were not. While only 47% of the control group survived for five years, 67% of women on metformin survived that long.
While the results were promising, the study was small, and larger prospective studies will need to be done.