Metformin, a Low-Cost Treatment for Obesity-Linked Cancers

Authors: Natalie Chavarria*, Mater Dei Catholic High School
Topics: Medical and Health Geography
Keywords: cancer, medical geography, woman’s health
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


Approximately 630,000 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with cancers associated with obesity. Obesity cancers account for approximately 40 percent of all diagnosed cancers in the United States in 2014. There is significant evidence verifying that high amounts of body fat are associated with an increased risk and variety of cancers. To limit the occurrence and proliferation of cancer cells in obese patients, metformin—a first-line drug used by type-2 diabetes patients to reduce circulating insulin in the blood—is proven to inhibit the growth of obesity-linked cancers. The following retrospective cohort studies assess metformin’s success in preventing the growth of the most reoccurring obesity-associated cancer, endometrial cancer. A 2015 analysis by the National Health Database of Taiwan observed the medical records of 478,921 subjects from 1996-2009. This study found a significant decrease in the onsite of endometrial cancer in patients taking metformin. Furthermore, a 2016 population analysis of 985 subjects from the databases at Montefiore Medical Center (MMC) and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, revealed a lower occurrence of endometrial cancer among metformin takers. Another 2016 data analysis, observed 465 subjects from the Department of Gynecology and Gynecological Oncology of the Medical University of Vienna, also revealed a decrease in the incidence of endometrial cancer. Overall, research indicates metformin’s potential as a low-cost medication to prevent obesity-related cancer growth, and enhance patient’s response to traditional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

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