Study on the effect of metformin in patients of metastatic renal cell cancer with diabetes receiving tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy
Objective: The primary objective of our study was to study the effect of metformin in patients of metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC) and diabetes who are on treatment with frontline therapy of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The effect of therapy was described in terms of overall survival and progression free survival. Comparisons were made between group of patients receiving metformin versus group of patients receiving insulin in diabetic patients of metastatic renal cancer on frontline therapy. Exploratory analyses were also done comparing non-diabetic patients of metastatic renal cell cancer receiving frontline therapy compared to diabetic patients of metastatic renal cell cancer receiving metformin therapy. Methods: The study design is a retrospective case series to elaborate the response rate of frontline therapy in combination with metformin for mRCC patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The cohort was selected from a database, which was generated for assessing the effect of tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy associated hypertension in metastatic renal cell cancer at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Patients who had been started on frontline therapy for metastatic renal cell carcinoma from all ethnic and racial backgrounds were selected for the study. The exclusion criteria would be of patients who took frontline therapy for less than 3 months or were lost to follow-up. Our exposure variable was treatment with metformin, which comprised of patients who took metformin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes at any time of diagnosis of metastatic renal cell carcinoma. The outcomes assessed were last available follow-up or date of death for the overall survival and date of progression of disease from their radiological reports for time to progression. The response rates were compared by covariates that are known to be strongly associated with renal cell cancer. Results: For our primary analyses between the insulin and metformin group, there were 82 patients, out of which 50 took insulin therapy and 32 took metformin therapy for type 2 diabetes. For our exploratory analysis, we compared 32 diabetic patients on metformin to 146 non-diabetic patients, not on metformin. Baseline characteristics were compared among the population. The time from the start of treatment until the date of progression of renal cell cancer and date of death or last follow-up were estimated for survival analysis. In our primary analyses, there was a significant difference in the time to progression of patients receiving metformin therapy vs insulin therapy, which was also seen in our exploratory analyses. The median time to progression in primary analyses was 1259 days (95% CI: 659-1832 days) in patients on metformin therapy compared to 540 days (95% CI: 350-894) in patients who were receiving insulin therapy (p=0.024). The median time to progression in exploratory analyses was 1259 days (95% CI: 659-1832 days) in patients on metformin therapy compared to 279 days (95% CI: 202-372 days) in non-diabetic group (p-value <0.0001). The median overall survival was 1004 days in metformin group (95% CI: 761-1212 days) compared to 816 days (95%CI: 558-1405 days) in insulin group (p-value<0.91). For the exploratory analyses, the median overall survival was 1004 days in metformin group (95% CI: 761-1212 days) compared to 766 days (95%CI: 649-965 days) in the non-diabetic group (p-value<0.78). Metformin was observed to increase the progression free survival in both the primary and exploratory analyses (HR=0.52 in metformin Vs insulin group and HR=0.36 in metformin Vs non-diabetic group, respectively). Conclusion: In laboratory studies and a few clinical studies metformin has been proven to have dual benefits in patients suffering from cancer and type 2-diabetes via its action on the mammalian target of Rapamycin pathway and effect in decreasing blood sugar by increasing the sensitivity of the insulin receptors to insulin. Several studies in breast cancer patients have documented a beneficial effect (quantified by pathological remission of cancer) of metformin use in patients taking treatment for breast cancer therapy. Combination of metformin therapy in patients taking frontline therapy for renal cell cancer may provide a significant benefit in prolonging the overall survival in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer and diabetes.
Kalra, Sarathi, "Study on the effect of metformin in patients of metastatic renal cell cancer with diabetes receiving tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy" (2012). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1544230.