Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 20 (9), 1617-22

Metformin Use and Prostate Cancer in Caucasian Men: Results From a Population-Based Case-Control Study


Metformin Use and Prostate Cancer in Caucasian Men: Results From a Population-Based Case-Control Study

Jonathan L Wright et al. Cancer Causes Control.


Purpose: Metformin is a commonly used medication for type II diabetes mellitus. Epidemiologic studies have suggested a decreased relative risk of cancer with metformin use, and preclinical studies of prostate cancer (PCa) have shown antitumor activity with metformin. In this study, we explore the relationship between metformin use and PCa risk in a population-based case-control study.

Methods: Cases were men aged 35-74 years diagnosed with PCa between 2002 and 2005 in King County, Washington. Controls were frequency matched by age and identified by random digit dialing. Use of metformin was determined from in-person questionnaires regarding medical and prescription history. The relationship of metformin use with PCa risk was evaluated using logistic regression.

Results: A total of 1,001 cases of PCa and 942 controls were available for analysis. In Caucasian men, metformin use was more common in controls than in cases (4.7 vs. 2.8%, p = 0.04), resulting in a 44% risk reduction for PCa (adjusted OR = 0.56; 95% CI 0.32-1.00). No association was seen in African-American men.

Conclusion: Metformin use was associated with a borderline significant decrease in the relative risk of PCa in Caucasians. Further study into this relationship is needed to confirm the association and determine the underlying pathways involved.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 107 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Ries L, Melbert D, Krapcho M, Stinchcomb D, Howlader N, Horner M et al. (2008) SEER cancer statistics review, 1975–2005, based on November 2007 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site. Cited; available from:
    1. {'text': '', 'index': 1, 'ids': [{'type': 'DOI', 'value': '10.1002/ijc.24044', 'is_inner': False, 'url': ''}, {'type': 'PMC', 'value': 'PMC2680190', 'is_inner': False, 'url': ''}, {'type': 'PubMed', 'value': '19058180', 'is_inner': True, 'url': ''}]}
    2. Kasper JS, Liu Y, Giovannucci E (2009) Diabetes mellitus and risk of prostate cancer in the health professionals follow-up study. Int J Cancer 124(6):1398–1403 - PMC - PubMed
    1. {'text': '', 'index': 1, 'ids': [{'type': 'DOI', 'value': '10.1093/aje/kwp003', 'is_inner': False, 'url': ''}, {'type': 'PMC', 'value': 'PMC2727229', 'is_inner': False, 'url': ''}, {'type': 'PubMed', 'value': '19240222', 'is_inner': True, 'url': ''}]}
    2. Waters KM, Henderson BE, Stram DO, Wan P, Kolonel LN, Haiman CA (2009) Association of diabetes with prostate cancer risk in the multiethnic cohort. Am J Epidemiol 169(8):937–945 - PMC - PubMed
    1. {'text': '', 'index': 1, 'ids': [{'type': 'DOI', 'value': '10.2337/diacare.29.02.06.dc05-1558', 'is_inner': False, 'url': ''}, {'type': 'PubMed', 'value': '16443869', 'is_inner': True, 'url': ''}]}
    2. Bowker SL, Majumdar SR, Veugelers P, Johnson JA (2006) Increased cancer-related mortality for patients with type 2 diabetes who use sulfonylureas or insulin. Diabetes Care 29(2):254–258 - PubMed
    1. {'text': '', 'index': 1, 'ids': [{'type': 'DOI', 'value': '10.1136/bmj.38415.708634.F7', 'is_inner': False, 'url': ''}, {'type': 'PMC', 'value': 'PMC558205', 'is_inner': False, 'url': ''}, {'type': 'PubMed', 'value': '15849206', 'is_inner': True, 'url': ''}]}
    2. Evans JM, Donnelly LA, Emslie-Smith AM, Alessi DR, Morris AD (2005) Metformin and reduced risk of cancer in diabetic patients. BMJ 330(7503):1304–1305 - PMC - PubMed

Publication types