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Interesting development; Metformin potentially credited

Posts: 317
Joined: May 2012

I am now 20 months post-chemo for the 2d recurrence of my endometrioid adenocarcinoma, orginally diagnosed in 2005 as Stage IC, Grade 2.  Radical, open hysterectomy and pelvic radiation followed.  First recurrence treated in 2012 with further radiation and high-dose progesterone.  Second recurrence treated in 2017 with Carbo/Taxol 12 rounds.  In December 2018, a CT showed no evidence of cancer in any area except the lower lobe of my left lung, which presented with a 5 mm solitary nodule thought to be in the same area as one of the five scattered nodules seen in December 2016 that precipitated the chemo.  My gyn onc set me up for a re-scan of my chest in mid-April.  That report states the 5 mm nodule is stable and is unspecified.  No evidence of disease in any other area that was imaged.  

While, of course, this is great news, it doesn't answer the question whether the nodule is benign or a third recurrence that is being kept in check.  But it didn't grow in 3+ months so we are encouraged, and will re-scan in 6 months (although the thoracic radiologist stated re-scan in 12 months by "unehanced thin slice CT," neither my gyn onc nor I felt comfortable waiting that long.")

I asked my gyn onc last week for an assessment of my history being 20 months past chemo with a reasonable expectation (by her warning)  that I would have recurred again by now.  My doctor answered that it was reasonable to conclude that I am responding to the Metformin 2,000 mg I take daily (I am not diabetic).  If in 6 months the nodule still hasn't grown, we still won't have a definitive answer of what's going on with me, but, at that point, my doctor said we could wait another 12 months before scanning again. 

It is refreshing to find a gyn onc that is willing to credit Metformin with performing as Takingcontrol58 has described could be possible in her many posts on the subject.  I have to credit her with putting me on the path to asking each of my treating physicians for a prescription.  My PCP came through for me after she did some research herself and saw that it is a drug that is being seriously studied for its anti-cancer applications. I don't have any genomic analysis to support that I have mutations that Metformin is thought to best respond to, but knowing that cancer loves glucose and estrogen, I am as committed as ever to taking this drug, keeping my weight in check, eliminating as much glucose from my diet as I can and doing moderate exercise 5-6 days a week.  I did lose 25 pounds on the ketogenic diet, but that diet is very difficult to maintain (no grains, no fruit, no starchy veg) in the long run.  But since I achieved the 25 pound loss, I've gained only one pound back despite the fact that I do eat some fruits and high-fiber cereal and the occaisional potato (and cake).  My diet doctor said last year the Metformin probably helps me keep from regaining weight (she's the one who wrote the second Rx for the full 2,000 mg dose).

So, this is an interesting development.  More evidence that each of us is a statistic of one and you never know where you're going with this disease so don't give up hope.  In August, I will be 14 years into this journey.  My body suffered some permanent injury from chemo but I am still here and in pretty good shape for a 65 year-old.  I would do chemo again, since I did respond well during treatment, but it sure is nice to not be facing that choice right now.

Best wishes to all, Oldbeauty

Tamlen's picture
Posts: 319
Joined: Jan 2018

This is both wonderful news and interesting news, oldbeauty. Thanks for sharing and please keep us posted. I've wondered about Metformin and it's useful to see someone with my endo cancer type having been on it with good success.

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
Posts: 1802
Joined: Jun 2015

Thanks for the great update Old Beauty. It is posts like yours that help keep our forum so helpful.

Such great news on your treatment too!

Love and Hugs,


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