Metformin: A Bridge between Diabetes and Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer (PCa) has become the most frequent type of cancer in men. Recent data suggest that diabetic patients taking metformin have a lower incidence of certain cancer, including PCa. Metformin is the most common drug used in type II diabetes mellitus; its use has been shown to lower the incidence of several cancers, although there are ambiguous data about the anticancer activity of metformin. A large number of studies examined the potential antineoplastic mechanism of metformin although it is not still completely understood. This review summarizes the literature concerning the effects of metformin on PCa cells, highlighting its numerous mechanisms of action through which it can act. We analyze the possible causes of the discordances regarding the impact of metformin on risk of PCa; we discuss the latest findings in this field, suggesting that metformin may have a future role in the management of PCa both as monotherapy and in combination with other drugs.

Frontiers in oncology. 2017 Oct 11*** epublish ***

Veronica Zingales, Alfio Distefano, Marco Raffaele, Antonio Zanghi, Ignazio Barbagallo, Luca Vanella

Department of Drug Science, Biochemistry Section, University of Catania, Catania, Italy., Department of Surgery, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Policlinico Vittorio Emanuele, Catania, Italy.