Survival advantage observed with the use of metformin in patients with type II diabetes and colorectal cancer

C. R. Garrett, H. M. Hassabo, N. A. Bhadkamkar, S. Wen, V. Baladandayuthapani, B. K. Kee, C. Eng, M. M. Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with type II diabetes mellitus (DM) have an increased risk of adenomatous colorectal (CRC) polyps and CRC cancer. The use of the anti-hyperglycemic agent metformin is associated with a reduced incidence of cancer-related deaths. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the medical records of 4758 patients seen at a single institution and determined that 424 patients were identified by their physicians as having type II DM and CRC cancer. Data were subsequently acquired determining the subject's age, body mass index (BMI), and disease date of diagnosis, stage, site of cancer, treatment, and survival. Results: Patients with type II DM and CRC cancer treated with metformin as one of their diabetic medications had a survival of 76.9 months (95% CI=61.4-102.4) as compared with 56.9 months in those patients not treated with metformin (95% CI=44.8-68.8), P=0.048. By using a multivariable Cox regression model adjusted for age, sex, race, BMI, and initial stage of disease, we demonstrated that type II diabetic patients treated with metformin had a 30% improvement in overall survival (OS) when compared with diabetic patients treated with other diabetic agents. Conclusion: Colorectal cancer patients with DM treated with metformin as part of their diabetic therapy appear to have a superior OS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1374-1378
Number of pages5
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 10 2012


  • colorectal cancer
  • diabetes
  • metformin
  • overall survival
  • retrospective review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Survival advantage observed with the use of metformin in patients with type II diabetes and colorectal cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this