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Metabolites 2013, 3(4), 1051-1075; doi:10.3390/metabo3041051

Metformin: On Ongoing Journey across Diabetes, Cancer Therapy and Prevention

1
Molecular Chemoprevention Group, Molecular Medicine Area, Regina Elena National Institute, Rome 00144, Italy
2
Department of Oncology, Juravinski Cancer Center, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8V 5C2, Canada
3
Translational Oncogenomics Unit-ROC, Molecular Medicine Area, Regina Elena National Institute, Rome 00144, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 July 2013 / Revised: 27 September 2013 / Accepted: 31 October 2013 / Published: 7 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Metabolomics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [320 KB, uploaded 7 November 2013]   |  

Abstract

Cancer metabolism is the focus of intense research, which witnesses its key role in human tumors. Diabetic patients treated with metformin exhibit a reduced incidence of cancer and cancer-related mortality. This highlights the possibility that the tackling of metabolic alterations might also hold promising value for treating cancer patients. Here, we review the emerging role of metformin as a paradigmatic example of an old drug used worldwide to treat patients with type II diabetes which to date is gaining strong in vitro and in vivo anticancer activities to be included in clinical trials. Metformin is also becoming the focus of intense basic and clinical research on chemoprevention, thus suggesting that metabolic alteration is an early lesion along cancer transformation. Metabolic reprogramming might be a very efficient prevention strategy with a profound impact on public health worldwide.
Keywords: diabetes; cancer; microRNA; therapy; chemoprevention; metabolism; meta analysis diabetes; cancer; microRNA; therapy; chemoprevention; metabolism; meta analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pulito, C.; Sanli, T.; Rana, P.; Muti, P.; Blandino, G.; Strano, S. Metformin: On Ongoing Journey across Diabetes, Cancer Therapy and Prevention. Metabolites 2013, 3, 1051-1075.

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