, Volume 60, Issue 9, pp 1221-1225
Date: 17 Jun 2011

Therapeutic effects of metformin in breast cancer: involvement of the immune system?

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Abstract

Breast cancer and associated diabetes mellitus have gained raising interest as an elevated risk of breast cancer prognosis resulting in increased mortality in diabetic patients. In this context, the long-acting insulin analog glargine and other antidiabetics have been discussed to promote tumorigenesis. In contrast, the biguanide class oral antidiabetic metformin has been shown capable of enhancing cell cycle arrest and inducing apoptosis as well as reducing growth factor signaling. Consequently, several studies are underway to evaluate a possible role of metformin in breast cancer treatment. Although mechanisms involved are not definitely clear yet, here, we discuss metformin’s anticancer effects including the potential impact of the immune system.