Metformin for OC

Hey everyone, I'm new here, so I figured I should give you a little background first!

My mom got diagnosed with Stage 3c Ovarian Cancer on December 21, 2016; at the age of 54. She had just completed four cycles of neoadjuvant dose-dense therapy (Taxol and Carbo) with favorable but incomplete response to chemo (worked miracles on the pelvic area, but omentum did not change). Debulking surgery is set for June 7th.

I am a research assistant (for psychology not medical) and have been exploring a plethora of different therapies and schedules for this darn disease. A lot have been inconclusive, mixed, or no significant. However, metformin seems to look very promising. Both for prevention of OC and treating of OC. Research notes longer duration between reoccurence and a higher 5 year survival rate than just front-line treatments.

I know trials, particularly in the U.S. are looking at incorporating metformin as a front-line treatment along with carbo/taxol; however, has anyone been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and treated with metformin? Or has anyone been given metformin as part of the front-line treatment? I'm interested to hear your stories!

My mom was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes nearly two years ago (I personally think it was associated with cancer; but who knows) and has been treated with metformin. She has been experiencing a great response to chemo along with minimal side effects (constipation).

References:

cancertm.com/article.asp?is...

healio.com/hematology-oncol...

20 Replies

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  • I take metformin and I'm not diabetic. I follow the coc protocol. cOC stands for the care oncology clinic based in London. They are a private clinic of doctors that gathered research and found like you that metformin (and other drugs) offer benefits to cancer patients. So they prescribe these drugs "off label" meaning they are not licensed for treating cancer.

    There a few ladies on here on the protocol. You may also be interested in a FB group called Jane McLelland off label drugs for cancer. It's a FB group that discusses exactly this matter.

    I really wish your mum well. It's lovely that she has you for support.

    Take care

    Michelle

  • Thanks so much. I just joined the FB group just waiting on getting accepted!

  • Hi i have type 2 diabetes & oc. I was advised by the diabetic consultant to carry on with metformin as well as my normal medication for diabetes as it helps prevent cancer.

  • Thanks for weighing in. My mom's blood sugar has been normal - so I'm hoping the endocrinologist will still keep her on it.

  • I attend the same clinic as Bibs73 and am also taking Metformin despite not being diabetic because of the promising anti-cancer properties.

    Wishing your mum well for her surgery.

    Yosh x

  • Thanks, Yosh. Are you currently taking Metformin whilst being NED or do you have current disease?

  • I started in between chemo 5&6 and have been taking it ever since. Have been NED since last September.

    Hope that helps!

  • I am with COC CLINIC in London & am on a cocktail including Metformin & statins. Plus cimetidine, aspirin & various vits & spice, herb combos-all of which I have cleared with COC.

    I have been almost 18 months NED, feel fine-good in fact

  • Very helpful reply. I've heard of statins before and their anti-cancer properties, but never saw cimetidine.

    Congrats on being NED!

  • Hi sorry to but in on this post. I'm interested in COC protocol and including metaformin. I want to try it but metaformin can affect the disgestive system and people get diarrhoea. That's a problem for me as I have An ileostomy.

    What side effects have people experienced.

    And is anyone with a stoma taking metaformin?

    Would love to hear from you

  • Yes that's true. I've never had any issues. However my chum works at as a nurse in a diabetic clinic and she says if your having issues to take the metformin after the meal and this helps.

    I found the coc very approachable so you could reach out and ask them about your concerns about the stoma bag, I'm sure they could advise how their other patients with one manages.

  • Thanks Michele. You sounds like you are still doing ok which is good. I've just had another clear scan but am upping my regime. I spoke to a nurse at COC re have a stoma and she referred my questions to a doctor which included would I need a different dosage form to absorb the drugs. They didn't know and suggested I grind tablets! I guess I need to see them formally to really get to the bottom of things. I try to take my supplement as liquids as much as possible.....feel I might jangle soon!

  • I think you would find the appointment very informative. They are very forward thinking and agree that diet, exercise and supplements help with the whole cancer malarkey. As you are very proactive you would probably enjoy the appointment, I know I did.

    Oh and I'm still doing really well. Getting investigated genetically so waiting for that feedback. Everything else good.

    Great news about your scan.

  • Hi Agility,

    I've been on Metformin for about 9 years to help with my PCOS. Once I started Metformin, I had no issues and took it after eating food. In 2011, I had my gallbladder removed and I started experience diarrhea with Metformin. I started taking Metformin while eating and it seemed to clear up.

    Best of luck to you x

  • Hi thanks for responding. Interesting I don't have a gallbladder. Has it taken out years ago, so I think that I will defo take it with food if I do.

  • I developed constipation with Metformin. we all react differently. good luck

  • I don't think metformin causes constipation-the nature of our surgery does though. I wd hate for someone to miss out on a positive outcome because of misapprehension. Not interfering, just keen to encourage.

    Cd u speak to a USA Clinic that uses metformin alongside usual treatment? Get professional input?

  • Constipation is listed as a side effect for Metformin. I took it for about 4 months. I tend to have constipation anyway so no surprise. My blood sugar tends to be below the normal range. The results seem to be good for it in the studies I have seen though. i try to reduce the amount of sugar in my diet as many of us do.

    My doc says my cancer is a genetic replication error. As we age an error is more likely. Everything in moderation he always says.

    Hopefully the studies will show reduced cancer in the trials and it will be added to the treatment regime. Its one of the few cheap drugs out there.

    Xx Carol

  • I was diagnosed with diabetes a few months after my initial cancer diagnosis in 2008, & have been treated with Metformin since, except for a short period earlier this year. I was in hospital with a chest infection, & the doctors treating me were concerned about whether the Metformin may have harmful effect on my kidneys while I had this infection & discontinued it. I wasn't immediately put back on it as I was taking other diabetic pills as well & my blood sugars were not too high. But I wasn't happy with not taking it, & one of the oncologists advised me to ask to take it again as he believed it may help with cancer. I am now back on it, but ioff one of the other drugs. Di

  • I am glad you are back on it. I live in the states - and whenever you are hospitalized here they do not give you Metformin; they wait until your sugar level is high to inject insulin. So frustrating!

    So sorry about your stay in the hospital, however you are doing well now. Glad to hear you were put back on Metformin.

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