Vol 25, No 2 (2020)
Original research articles
Published online: 2020-03-01

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Metformin and statins: a possible role in high-risk prostate cancer

Giovanna Cadeddu, Asunción Hervás-Morón1, Margarita Martín-Martín1, Lira Pelari-Mici1, Kathy Ytuza-Charahua de Kirsch1, Antonio Hernández-Corrales1, Carmen Vallejo-Ocaña1, Sara Sastre-Gallego1, Eliseo Carrasco-Esteban1, Sonsoles Sancho-García1, Fernando López-Campos1
DOI: 10.1016/j.rpor.2019.12.027
Rep Pract Oncol Radiother 2020;25(2):163-167.


Aim and background

There is increasing evidence that statins and oral anti-diabetic drugs, such as metformin, can have a favorable role in advanced prostate cancer treatment.

Metformin has been shown to inhibit proliferation of tumor cells in vitro and statins inhibit carcinogenesis by suppressing angiogenesis/invasion mechanisms. However, clinical evidence on the protective effect of these drugs is still weak.

The purpose of this study is to analyze if these drugs have an impact on Biochemical-Failure-Free-Survival (BFFS) and on Distant-Failure-Free-Survival (DFFS) in localized high-risk prostate cancer.

Material and Methods

From 2002–2016, 447 patients with histologically confirmed high-risk prostate cancer were retrospectively evaluated. All patients received radiotherapy and androgen deprivation therapy. Biochemical recurrence was determined by the Phoenix criteria and metastatic patients were defined by the presence of radiological metastasis. Survival analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method.


175 patients were treated with statins (65.3 % with a dose ≤ 20 mg/day) and 70 with metformin (75.7 % with a dose ≤ 1700 mg/day). Median follow-up was 88 months (1–194) with no differences in BFFS and DFFS between metformin and non-metformin patients (77.4 % versus 80 %, p = 0.91 and 89.4 % versus 88.7 %, p = 0.56, respectively). We did not find a statistical difference in BFFS and DFFS in patients taking higher doses of those drugs.


Metformin and statins were not associated with BFFS or DFFS improvement in our analysis. However, the small number of patients treated with these drugs limits the reliability of the results and prospective studies are needed.

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