Metformin is a widely used treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus, but previous research suggests it also prevents colorectal cancer. Researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre trial in 151 patients without diabetes mellitus who had previously undergone removal of one or more colorectal adenomas or polyps. Patients treated with low-dose metformin for 1 year were found to have fewer ademomas or polyps than controls, with no severe adverse effects observed. Larger and more long-term trials are now required.
Higurashi, T. et al. Metformin for chemoprevention of metachronous colorectal adenoma or polyps in post-polypectomy patients without diabetes: a multicentre double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(15)00565-3 (2016)
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Ridler, C. Metformin protective against colorectal cancer?. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 13, 250 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrgastro.2016.61