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A recent medical case study for all to read on the benefits of metformin

takingcontrol58
Posts: 257
Joined: Jan 2016

Ladies,
As you know, I frequently have tried to communicate the benefits of metformin for endometrial cancer, and cancer in general.

There is an article recently posted at www.pubmed.gov - PMID 28451430 - entitled "Efficacy of metformin for advanced stage
endometrial cancer." There are over 3000 articles posted on this website for metformin and various cancers. There is
tremendous knowledge about this drug and cancer.

It is a brief summary of a woman who  was only given metformin after surgery (no chemo or radiation) and is alive and cancer
free after 45 months from starting the drug.

I've spoken about how metformin helped put me in complete remission.  I'm in complete remission 27months after starting
metformin and I had multiple metastases all over my body. I was in partial remission after one month on metformin (88% of my
tumors vanished). I was in complete remission five months later and remain in complete remission. The woman in the case study 
was Stage IVB endometrial serous adenocarcinoma.  Most people who have metastases do not remain cancer free for a long period
of time so I am grateful to be on this drug.

We all need to determine what is driving our cancer and caused it to form in the first place, or metastasize. For me, I believe
it was tied to my insulin resistance, borderline high glucose levels, high insulin and insulin growth factor-1 levels, borderline
high A1C and high cholesterol, all risk factors for this cancer.  Metformin controls these factors so I believe the metformin keeps me
cancer free because I am no longer feeding the cancer. Plus the drug targets many processes involved in the formation and spread
of cancer in general. My cancer just stopped growing when I started this drug, and the cancer I did have vanished.

If you believe your risk factors were tied to some of these issues, I personally believe that metformin might help you.  If you are
one of the lucky ones, it might make you cancer free or keep you progression free longer. Even if it helps a little, it seems to have
a much  better track record for advanced/metastatic cancer than standard cancer treatment alone. The medical studies say that
taxol/carboplatin works on UP to 40% of the people who get it.  I started on metformin after two chemo infusions, and remained
on the drug for my remaining 4 infusions. I still had 2cm of tumors when I finished chemo.  I remain only on metformin today and
my last chemo treatment was 2 years ago.

I write this posting for those who are just starting chemo treatment, are experiencing recurrences shortly after treatment, or are
growing cancer during treatment.  I highly suggest you speak with your doctor about getting on metformin.  I think this drug
may be the saving grace for many endometrial cancer patients.

Takingcontrol58

 

 

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

I am always so glad to read more information in manageable portions!  From the news on the board today I hope this timely post will help many more!  (((HUGS)))

KatnHat's picture
KatnHat
Posts: 27
Joined: Jan 2017

Hi, thanks to your original post and to my sister's sleuthing, I too started taking Metformin even though I don't have high blood sugar or any risk factors for diabetes. I was diagnosed as Stage 3C2, grade 3 after a radical hysterectomy in October of 2016. I started taking 500 mg per day with the blessings of my oncologist with just the caveat that I wait until after the first cycle of chemo (6 cycles following the hysterectomy). I just finished 25 external radiation treatments and I'm on my 2nd of 3 brachytherapies. I had a Pet scan done in January for a possible clinical trial and there was NED. My CA-125 count went from over 600 pre-surgery to 6 a couple weeks ago. Time will tell if it works, but it's worth it to try. It's inexpensive and has not caused me any side effects. Thanks TakingControl! Kat

pgdaughter
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2017

Hi TakingControl58, following your earlier posts while we were at the gynae onco consult yesterday and I raised Metformin with him for mum to take (Stage iv UPSC, responding to platinum chemo with disease control). The doc pointed out that Metformin is beneficial only if the tumours are estrogen positive/sensitive and my mother's isn't. He concoluded therefore that the Metformin research to date isn't relevant to Mom. Based on your extensive reading, I'm wondering if this is true? Was your tumour estrogen associated? 

takingcontrol58
Posts: 257
Joined: Jan 2016

Kat,
I'm so happy for you. I have been trying to get the word out on this drug that can have miraculous results for
some endometrial cancer patients.  Metformin is trully a "magic" drug -it was called this in one of the medical journal articles.
It has about 17 anti-cancer properties that I have discovered- and there are no successful cancer drugs that address
these processes and pathways involved in many cancers.  So I guess you don't need to be in any clinical trial if you are NED.

May you remain NED forever.  That is my plan.

Takingcontrol58
Linda

takingcontrol58
Posts: 257
Joined: Jan 2016

You doctor doesn't know what he is talking about. I have been studying this drug for over two years now.

Metformin is the most prescribed drug in the world for diabetes.  It is prescribed for pre-diabetes, insulin resistance and PCOS.
Metformin lowers glucose, insulin and insulin growth factor, key drivers of endometrial cancer.   I don't know if you mom has
high levels of these growth factors. It also inhibits estrogen,which is why it is effective in breast cancer patients.  But targeting
estrogen is the least of its benefits. I had normal estrogen levels for a post-menopausal woman. Insulin drove my cancer, not
estrogen. I had a condition called insulin resistance.

Metformin also stops angiogenesis (targets VEGF)- creation of new blood vessels that feed tumors- you can't have metastasis without angiogenesis.
It also kills cancer stem cells, the cells they believe are not killed by the chemo and go on to form new tumors. Most cancer patients
are given the drug Avastin for this -it stops angiogenesis (targets VEGF)  but is not that effective and has some serious side effects.

If you know your mom's mutations, the best thing it is known for is to inactivate the PI3K/Akt/Mtor pathway- over 80% of endometrial
cancer patients have a mutation on this pathway -mutations that activate the pathway.  I have one of those mutations (PIK3R1).  When the
pathway is activated, cancer cells grow out of control.  Apparently, if you have a mutation on this pathway, the Taxol and Carbo won't work.
USPC is known to have a mutation on this pathway called PIK3C1. Metformin has been shown to reduce the incidence of cancer and increase
survival of EC patients.

You may have to get the drug from you mom's internist.  You doctor either has no idea about metformin (and there are over 3000
articles printed in medical journals) or he is lying to you.  From what many women have posted, it seems like some oncologists
go out of their way to convince patients why they should not take the drug yet have no problem dispensing dangerous chemotherapy.
Perhaps you should bring him a copy of the article I referenced in my first post above about the woman who is 45 months cancer free
of Stage IV USPC and has only been on metformin- no chemo or radiation. Personally, I only had chemo, no radiation.

Let me know if you have any other questions. A doctor can't stop you from taking a drug that could extend your life or keep you
cancer-free or progression-free. No chemotherapy alone will do that for those of us with advanced or metastatic cancer.
You have to address the source of your cancer
Takingcontrol58

 

daylady's picture
daylady
Posts: 122
Joined: Dec 2014

Just to play devil's advocate (reluctantly) here...I have Stage IV UPSC, and have been on 1500 mg. of metformin for years and it apparently did not stop me from getting cancer and it does not seem to have slowed or stopped the progression, so all I would caution is that every case is different.  I strongly suspect that a response to Metformin may be due to not being diabetic, and/or not being on the drug previously. 

I am constantly frustrated by UPSC and the inattention it seems to get from the cancer community.  I have done surgery (major), radiation (brachytherapy), and way too much chemo.  I have also done mistletoe injections, vit. C injections. thymus peptide injections, castor oil packs, low dose naltrexone, supplements until my stomach started to go on strike, and now transarterial chemoembolization ... in another COUNTRY no less.  This is not an easy journey we are on!!  You just have to get up each day and keep on keeping on!!  Hugs!  - Helen   P.S.  And many blessings to everyone who has had Metformin work for them.  I wish it had been me! 

 

henhill's picture
henhill
Posts: 123
Joined: Aug 2016

Sounds very hopeful.  I will keep it in mind since I amon the fence about carbo/taxol.  thanks

 

 

Tarans
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2014

I was on 1000 mg. metformin 3 or 4 years BEFORE I was diagnosed with cancer (uterine MMMT) and with good control (A1C under 6.2).  My late sis was on 2500 mg for a full year before she passed from the same cancer.  So, sorry takingcontrol58, you won't convince me on that.  There is some evidence that metformin helps children with sarcomas, but it is presented as hopeful and not a given.  Also note that the woman in the article may simply have cancer in remission, metformin or not.  I don't doubt that you've done a lot of research, but not sure if the conclusions can be applied to most.

However, all that said, if someone thinks metformin might help them, they can certainly ask the doc to prescribe it for them. It's inexpensive and only contra-indicated if you have kidney problems.  In addition, you usually have to discontinue its use for 24 hours after having a scan.  I've been off metformin now since last March having switched entirely to insulin. I have the latent adult type 1, not the type 2.

MAbound
Posts: 1022
Joined: Jun 2016

Endometrial/uterine cancer is such a complicated beast with so many different iterations and possible treatment options that it stands to reason that what works for some of us won't necessarily work for all. I think a lot of us who come here are very grateful to those who  put in so much time to study the research and literature that's out there and then come back to share it with the rest of us. Knowledge is power and it helps us to make informed decisions and keep our doctors on their toes. When we start this journey, I think the thing that really jumps out to all of us is how much there really is to learn as we go along and it never really stops, does it?

I'd like to add a little to what Taking control has said about metformin because there still may be a reason to take it even if you were on it prior to diagnosis and it didn't prevent your cancer. I'm out of town right now and don't have access to my research, but there was a study published about June of last year that showed that metformin can also reactivate Progesterone receptor sensitivity. This may be important if you should end up on hormone therepy post treatment like Henhill and I are. Go back to your lab results from your surgery and see if they tested your tissue for ER(estrogen receptor) & PR (progesterone receptor) sensitivity. Most of us have higher ER sensitivity than PR sensitivity, but if that PR sensitivity is there, hormone thereapy may be another tool in your oncologist's basket of tricks to keep you in remission longer than you'd otherwise be.  My ER sensity was 90% strongly positive and my PR sensitivity was also 90% positive but only weakly to moderately. The hope is that being on metformin will help the progesterone therapy I'm on to be more effective. Time will tell. Just thought I share that as something else to look into.

Metformin really is an amazing drug for cancer treatment for a number of different reasons and TakingControl is such a tireless asset to this board as she keeps sharing her expertise on the subject over and over again with new people as they find us here. I know I never would have thought to even look into it as a treatment option if it weren't for her posts.

takingcontrol58
Posts: 257
Joined: Jan 2016

Tarans,

I am not saying that metformin is the only drug that put me in remission.  I believe you have to address all the root causes
that made your cancer grow, and it can be many.  Besides being on metformin, I also take 2 low dose aspirins/day- reduces chance of all
cancer by 25% (thins blood so cancer cells don't stick together and form a tumor), docycycline (antibiotic used to treat Lyme disease)-
this inexpensive antibiotic kills bacteria- many researchers believe it is bacteria and viruses that get into the cells that cause mutations,
also lost the weight I needed to lose (35lbs, plus 8 from surgery), radically changed my diet (eat almost all organic- and grass fed beef
and organic meat and fish), walk 2 miles a day, take 44 different supplements each and every day (you have to make sure you have
the proper building blocks so your body works like it should), eliminated about 95% of my sugar intake and drink only purified water. 

Metformin is only one  part of the picture. For me, it addressed some of the key factors driving my cancer, high IGF-1 and borderline
high glucose- I was prediabetic so it will keep me from getting diabetic. My A1C is 5.5. It also stops angiogenesis, so I had no need
for Avastin, a more dangerous cancer drug.

I think it may work well for me because I've also gotten rid of all the other risk factors that led me to acquire cancer.  You have to address what is making cancer grow in your body. I figure, we have alot going wrong in our bodies if we get cancer, since most people don't get cancer after all.
Perhaps you have other factors that contributed to your cancer.

The other good think about metformin is that they say you won't die from cancer if you are taking the drug.
It is also believed to stop alzheimers and heart disease.  There is a study approved to test the drug as an anti-aging drug-
the TAME study.

Be careful with taking insulin.  Insulin causes cancer and is one of the main drivers of endometrial cancer.  I had
very high levels of the hormone insulin growth factor when my cancer metastasized, along with high levels of insulin.
No more.

You have to attack cancer from many fronts. Chemotherapy and radiation don't cure metastatic endometrial cancer.
I did not have radiation, only chemo (6 infusions).  Cancer will always return if you don't address what conditions are making
it grow in your body. You need a comprehensive plan to get rid of cancer, most of which does not include cancer drugs. I finished
chemo in May 2015. The only drug I take is metformin.

MAbound, thanks for the good words.

I believe cancer can be healed today but you have to work with all that is available to you today. Some people like me,
don't have time to wait for some miracle cancer drug. I worked with what was available to me at the time it was believed
I had four to six months to live.  

Takingcontrol58

Tarans
Posts: 13
Joined: May 2014

I have a cancer gene. No matter what I do, it's gonna be there.  It's true that there are likely triggers, but there hasn't been enough study of the syndrome to figure it out. 

My only comment on your regimen is that you aren't taking just a couple drugs. Those 44 supplements ARE drugs as well.  Even every day stuff can act as a drug - peppermint tea, drunk twice daily, will reduce your testosterone level significantly after a few weeks.  hence, a drug effect.  It's possible that what worked for you was simply weight loss although 38 pounds certainly didn't put you into obesity (which is where data shows increase in cancer). Still, whatever works for you.  Glad you are still here with us.

I too take aspirin, but high dosages because of Lynch Syndrome (now anyway).  They aren't actually sure how aspirin works on cancer.  Maybe it's not the blood thinning effect at all.  It is interesting work however, hopefully more will come out soon.  It does not actually reduce your risk of colon cancer UNLESS you have Lynch Syndrome, but I haven't followed anything regarding other cancers. I've been an aspirin user since my early 20s due to arthritis and sadly, it did not prevent endometrial cancer either.  Also, I and everyone else, will have to rethink aspirin as we age as data has come out about the increase in brain blood bleeds.  You feel damned if you do and damned if you don't.

My oncology group did talk about insulin and its ramifications, but they say it's hard to tease out the effects of insulin vs. obesity.  Still, my endo agrees that the less insulin I need to take, the better for me (to a point). I've recently started a LCHF diet and while that has its own issues, it will hopefully help me with some current ones.  If I was still considered a T2, I would quiz you a bit more on that, but being a T1.5 puts me into a different category because, most of the time, I'm producing inadequate insulin.

 

Oh, and here was an interesting cohort study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3595327/

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2728
Joined: Mar 2013

As we always say, "Everyone is different" and that is most certainly the case with how people's body reacts to any drug given.  Sadly, you can do everything right and cancer will return or you can choose not take care of yourself and never see cancer again.  Life is a crap shoot.  I think we need to decide what is right for us.  

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 903
Joined: Jan 2016

I'm with Notime:)

 

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