Metformin: A candidate for the treatment of gynecological tumors based on drug repositioning (Review)

Haruko Irie, Kouji Banno, Megumi Yanokura, Miho Iida, Masataka Adachi, Kanako Nakamura, Kiyoko Umene, Yuya Nogami, Kenta Masuda, Yusuke Kobayashi, Eiichirou Tominaga, Daisuke Aoki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Metformin is a first-line drug used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Recently, metformin has been reported to reduce the carcinogenic risk and inhibit tumor cell growth in glioma and breast cancer. The anticancer action of metformin involves the enhancement of phosphorylation of liver kinase B1, activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase and inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin, which reduces cell growth. Metformin is anticipated to exert antitumor effects in gynecological cancer, and its efficacy for the treatment of endometrial, breast and ovarian cancer has been suggested in preclinical studies and clinical trials. Although the effect of metformin on cervical cancer remains to be examined in clinical trials, its antitumor effects have been reported in preclinical studies. Thus, the use of metformin for the treatment of gynecological cancer may become a successful example of drug repositioning, following establishment of the drug's antitumor effects, risk evaluation, screening and validation of efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1287-1293
Number of pages7
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb


  • Breast cancer
  • Drug repositioning
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Metformin
  • Ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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