Metformin in Patients with Metastatic RCC Treated with Sunitinib or Pazopanib

By Kaitlyn D’Onofrio - Last Updated: June 8, 2021

A retrospective study published in Cancer Management and Research evaluated the effect of metformin in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) treated with sunitinib or pazopanib.

“The anticancer properties of metformin have been suggested in numerous experimental studies and several retrospective clinical studies show that its use is associated with improved outcome of patients with cancer. However, limited data are available for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) treated with targeted therapy,” the study authors explained.

They evaluated 343 patients with mRCC who were treated with first-line sunitinib or pazopanib, comparing progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) based on metformin use.

For patients using metformin, the median PFS was 31.1 months, compared to 9.3 months in patients not using metformin. The respective median OS was 51.6 months and 22.4 months. Upon Cox multivariate analysis, metformin use was significantly associated with PFS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.55) and OS (HR, 0.45).

“The results of the present retrospective study suggest that there is a significant association between the use of metformin and favorable outcome of mRCC patients treated with sunitinib or pazopanib in the first line of targeted therapy. The efficacy and safety of combination of metformin with targeted therapy in both diabetics and non-diabetics with mRCC should be investigated in a prospective controlled clinical trial in the future,” the study authors concluded.