Use of Metformin and Survival of Diabetic Women with Breast Cancer

Author(s): Paul JHL Peeters, Marloes T. Bazelier, Peter Vestergaard, Hubert G.M. Leufkens, Marjanka K. Schmidt, Frank de Vries, Marie L. De Bruin

Journal Name: Current Drug Safety

Volume 8 , Issue 5 , 2013

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Objective: This study was set out to determine whether metformin use influences survival in breast cancer patients treated with antidiabetic drugs as compared to non-users.

Research Design and Methods: We used data from the Danish national registries (1996-2008) to identify adult female patients diagnosed with breast cancer who were prescribed antidiabetic medication. We performed multivariate Coxproportional hazard regression to assess all-cause and breast cancer-specific mortality risks associated with metformin exposure. In a secondary analysis, we stratified use of metformin according to the cumulative number of prescriptions.

Results: Of the 1058 breast cancer patients 349 died during follow-up, with breast cancer listed as the primary cause of death for 152 cases. Compared to non-use, current metformin treatment was associated with a significant reduction in overall mortality (adjusted HR 0.74, 95% CI, 0.58-0.96). For breast cancer-specific mortality, a non-significant risk reduction (adjusted HR 0.88, 95% CI, 0.59-1.29) was observed, which became significant after stratification according to cumulative number of prescriptions. An increased risk of both overall and breast cancer-specific mortality was observed in the first 12 months after discontinuation of metformin.

Conclusions: We observed a nonsignificant reduction in breast cancer-specific mortality associated with metformin exposure among breast cancer patients treated with antidiabetic drugs. However, our findings suggest that long-term metformin use may have a beneficial effect on survival in patients with breast cancer. Further confirmation of these findings is needed.

Keywords: Breast cancer, metformin, mortality, survival, type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Article Details

Year: 2013
Published on: 20 December, 2013
Page: [357 - 363]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/15680266113136660069

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