Welcome to the new Cancer Survivors Network website! Existing members can click HERE to review the changes and new features on CSN.

Takingcontrol58: Metformin & restoring Progesterone Receptor Status?

oldbeauty
oldbeauty Member Posts: 319

I am gearing up for appointments with my endocrinologist, my PCP and my gyn oncologist in December.  Takingcontrol58, I have bookmarked several of your posts and, in my head, I am crediting you with pointing out studies that show Metformin is/may be effective in re-booting a depleted Progesterone Receptor Status.  But I can't find the reference.  Does this ring a bell?  If so, would you be kind enough to refresh my memory where the citation is? 

I want to talk to my Doc about Metformin use by those of us who are not diabetic or pre-diabetic.  I know my gyn oncologist won't discuss it further; he says come back to him about it in 2020 after the clinical trials with Metformin and chemo drugs ongoing now have reported.  If I want to try Metformin, my best bet is my endocrinologist or maybe the integrative oncologist I will see in February 2018.  But I want to have in mind why I think it could benefit me and have some research to back that up. 

I go soon for an adrenal function test, and if, as I suspect, my adrenal gland is still totally suppressed, I will need a steroidal replacement. I want to discuss going back on Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate) for that purpose and get off hydrocortisone.  Provera is what put my adrenal gland into hibernation and if it is true that it kept me in remission for several years, I conclude that my progesterone receptor status has faded and that's why I had a recurrence this year.  If Metformin is indicated in re-booting P receptor status then I want to go back on it.

Again, if this benefit of Metformin rings a bell and you can put your hands on a citation, I'd appreciate it.  Thank you.  Best wishes, Oldbeauty

Comments

  • SF73
    SF73 Member Posts: 316
    edited November 2017 #2
  • SF73
    SF73 Member Posts: 316
    My experiences with Metformin

    BTW my PCP did not have any trouble prescribing me Metformin (850 mg x 2 ) even though at the time she prescribed (three weeks ago) my Hb1ac was 5.1% and fasting BG was 79. I described the clinical study to my PCP but coming from me she did not find it credible. Thank God she gave a call to my oncologist and he explained the rationale. Maybe your primary care provider instead of a specialist can give you a prescription. 

    In addition to chemo (carbo/taxol) and Metformin, I am also on Megestrol (80 mg x 2). I am trying to follow a ketogenic diet and measure my blood glucose and ketone levels frequently. What I found is chemo and especially the steroids given during chemo increase blood glucose levels. I have 105-106 fasting BG on the days I am on steroids. On other days I am having a hard time keeping my BG in the 70-90 range also even though my ketone levels are 1.1.-1.7. I found out that Megestrol also increases BG levels which is a bit frustrating. Made me think that maybe all I am doing is canceling each other. With your post I now convinced myself that maybe they are helping each other :)

    I still don't know my specific mutations and the hormonal receptors of the tumor. I got a second opinion from UCSF and a third opinion from Stanford. Apparently Stanford asked for my slides and they still have not returned them. UCSF wants to restain the tumor and rerun the pathology and run a genomic profiling of the tumor but CPMC (where my original oncologist is ) does not let go of the blocks until Stanford returns the slides. I am so disappointed that information that could be vital for me is not available to me for three weeks due to inefficiencies. Another source of disappointment is my insurance company. I have BCBS PPO. Even though all three oncologists agree Avastin could be helpful for me, insurance company rejected it. My oncologist says he is going to appeal but not sure they are putting a ton of effort. Has anyone appealed and ended up getting the drug?

  • MAbound
    MAbound Member Posts: 1,156
    edited November 2017 #4
    Article

    I think this is what you are looking for:

    http://www.croh-online.com/article/S1040-8428(16)30139-1/pdf

    See section 4 titled "Metformin and endometrial cancer" at the bottom of the 3rd onto the 4th pages.

    If pasting the link doesn't work google the title "Metformin use and gynecological cancers: A novel treatment option emerging from drug repositioning" dated June 16, 2016.

  • oldbeauty
    oldbeauty Member Posts: 319
    MAbound said:

    Article

    I think this is what you are looking for:

    http://www.croh-online.com/article/S1040-8428(16)30139-1/pdf

    See section 4 titled "Metformin and endometrial cancer" at the bottom of the 3rd onto the 4th pages.

    If pasting the link doesn't work google the title "Metformin use and gynecological cancers: A novel treatment option emerging from drug repositioning" dated June 16, 2016.

    Thanks all.

    Thank you all. I will look at the linked pubs in the morning and report back.  Oldbeauty

  • oldbeauty
    oldbeauty Member Posts: 319
    edited November 2017 #6
    Thank you

    I will use each of the articles you ladies cited for my consultation with my doctor(s). Thanks again for your responses.  Best wishes. Oldbeauty

  • takingcontrol58
    takingcontrol58 Member Posts: 264
    Old Beauty, another article for your doctor

    You may want to take the article I just posted this morning to your doctor.

    DNA Pioneer James Watson:  The cancer moonshot is crap but there is still hope"

    I just found it last night.

     

    www.statnews.com/2016/07/20/james-watson-cancer

    Takingcontrol58

  • takingcontrol58
    takingcontrol58 Member Posts: 264
    Another metformin article

    Old Beauty,

    MAbound quoted a good article I am familiar with. SF73 quoted a good article that I had 
    not seen before, which talks about progesterone.  Below is another article to use for
    reference:  Remember, metformin does so much more than just lower glucose, but I 
    don't think most oncologists know this. And I was not diabetic- I was considered 
    pre-diabetic so hopefully I'll never be diabetic while on this drug.  My father died from
    complications of Type 2 diabetes.


    www.pubmed.gov- PMID22701483 "Metformin, an emerging new therapeutic option for
    targeting cancer stem cells and metastasis." June 2012.

    I wanted to give you an older article so you can show your onc that they have known about
    the anti-cancer benefits of metformin for a long time.  I believe they first discovered them
    in 2006. You have to wonder why they have not fast tracked this miraculous drug. I think
    it is because it is cheap and it works.

    You can tell you onc you know a women who was in the trial he referenced- the trial ends in
    Sep 2019, though results don't usually come out much later. You can let him know not 
    everyone can wait that long. You can tell him I was in the trial for one month, then removed
    myself and got on metformin (the trial is a random trial so I may have been getting the
    placebo, and they won't tell me until the trial ends.)  After 3 chemo infusions of Taxol/Carbo
    and one month on metformin 30cm of metastatic tumors vanished. It took another five months
    to get rid of the remaining 4cm.  Unfortunately, my results won't be part of the trial.  I fear
    that the trial may have been set up to fail-  they are testing for 3 mutations popular in EC-I had
    one of those mutations. But the women with these mutations were not guaranteed the drug, who
    the drug was more likely to help. The mutations were on the Pi3K pathway the most mutated
    pathway in EC, and metformin targets this pathway.  I'd be happy to speak with your onc if he
    is interested.

    I just found a new article the other day at www.pubmed.gov entitled "Metformin and Pancreatic
    Cancer Metabolism." On page 167 of the article, there is a great chart mapping out all the pathways
    and such that metformin targets, with a detailed explanation of each below the diagram. The diagram
    is labeled Figure 3. Metformin impairs signaling molecules for cancer survival.

    It doesn't matter that the article talks about pancreatic cancer. Metformin is known to be effective
    for all types of cancer- endometrial, ovarian, breast, liver, pancreatic, thyroid, colon, prostate,
    melanoma and glioblastoma. Many of these cancers are caused by similar risk factors and common gene mutations.

    There is alot of good information in the article on all the pathways that metformin is involved in-
    most of these are also affected in endometrial cancer.  Cancer is cancer.  We all have the same organs,
    genes, pathways, etc. You'll also get the history of metformin, chemopreventive properties, glucose lowering
    properties, anti-lipogenic drug.  It's all these things that metformin does that make it such a miraculous drug for
    cancer patients. And if you happen to have some of the health issues andkey mutations metformin targets, I think
    you might have miraculous results like I did. It is an ideal targeted therapy if you have a certain
    cancer profile.

    In the end, you will most likely have to get the drug from your PCP or endocrinologist or integrative
    oncologist. It is unfortunate your oncologist is not enlightened. I hope you can enlighten him.

    Takingcontrol58

  • derMaus
    derMaus Member Posts: 558

    Old Beauty, another article for your doctor

    You may want to take the article I just posted this morning to your doctor.

    DNA Pioneer James Watson:  The cancer moonshot is crap but there is still hope"

    I just found it last night.

     

    www.statnews.com/2016/07/20/james-watson-cancer

    Takingcontrol58

    Good article. What about his

    Good article. What about his anti antioxidant stance? I've wondered the same thing myself. 

  • takingcontrol58
    takingcontrol58 Member Posts: 264
    Der Maus

    I started taking many antioxidants while I was on the chemo and metformin,
    plus starting drinking my daily smoothie, made mostly with berries and the antioxidants.
    I still drink this same smoothie to this very day.

    He mentions that when the STAT3 gene is turned on, the cancer cells become filled with antioxidants.
    But I was on metformin, which turns off the STAT3 gene, so perhaps the antioxidants
    weren't in my cancer cells but protected my normal cells from the dangerous effects of chemo.
    I only had minor side effects from the chemo and went into total remission.  I think it is the right
    combination of a group of treatments that is how you heal cancer.  You have to come at the cancer
    from many directions.  Remember, you have many more normal cells to protect than cancer
    cells to kill.

    Takingcontrol58

    Again, my integrative oncologist was a molecular biologist, so I think he may have known all
    this when he put me on the metformin and supplements.