Role of metformin and other metabolic drugs in the prevention and therapy of endocrine-related cancers

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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2021 Jul 23;60:17-26. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2021.06.002. Online ahead of print.


Metabolic syndrome is associated with chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. This review summarizes the current evidence on the antitumor effects of some relevant drugs currently used to manage metabolic-related pathologies (i.e. insulin and its analogs, metformin, statins, etc.) in endocrine-related cancers including breast cancer, prostate cancer, pituitary cancer, ovarian cancer, and neuroendocrine neoplasms. Although current evidence does not provide a clear antitumor role of several of these drugs, metformin seems to be a promising chemopreventive and adjuvant agent in cancer management, modulating tumor cell metabolism and microenvironment, through both AMP-activated protein kinase-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Moreover, its combination with statins might represent a promising therapeutic strategy to tackle the progression of endocrine-related tumors. However, further studies are needed to endorse the clinical relevance of these drugs as adjuvants for cancer chemotherapy.

PMID:34311387 | DOI:10.1016/j.coph.2021.06.002