İlayda Üzümcü1, Burak Akverdi1, Elif Ünaldı1, Oytun Erbaş1

1ERBAS Institute of Experimental Medicine, Illinois, USA & Gebze, Turkey

Keywords: Anti-tumor effects, cancer treatment, diabetes mellitus, metformin, type 2 diabetes mellitus


Metformin is a biguanide drug that is commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). According to a meta-analysis, T2DM patients have a much higher risk of developing cancer than healthy people. Long-term trials in T2DM patients treated with metformin have revealed a reduction in cancer incidence. Moreover, metformin use in type 2 diabetic cancer patients was also associated with decreases in cancer-related recurrence, metastasis, and also mortality. Metformin has been shown in vivo and in vitro experiments to inhibit tumor proliferation, induce apoptosis, and stimulate autophagy in tumor cells. All these studies have been directed to the use of metformin as an anticancer agent in cancer treatment, with or without T2DM, since it confirms that metformin has an anti-tumor effect. In this review, the anticancer effects of metformin and its current place in cancer treatment were discussed.

Cite this article as: Üzümcü İ, Akverdi B, Ünaldı E, Erbaş O. Metformin as Cancer Preventative and Therapeutic Agent. JEB Med Sci 2022;3(1):35-41.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.