Background: Metformin, widely used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, reduces the risk of cancer and relapse after treatment. Fertility-sparing treatment for endometrial cancer (EC) with progestin is associated with a high chance of disease regression, and the high relapse rate continues to be a problem. We assessed the efficacy of metformin in preventing recurrence after medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) as fertility-sparing treatment for atypical endometrial hyperplasia (AEH) and EC.
Patients and methods: This phase II study enrolled 17 patients with AEH and 19 patients with EC limited to the endometrium (age, 20-40 years). MPA (400 mg/day) and metformin (750-2250 mg/day) were administered for 24-36 weeks to achieve a complete response (CR). Metformin was administered until conception, even after MPA discontinuation. The primary end point was relapse-free survival (RFS) after remission. We analyzed all efficacy end points in the full analysis set.
Results: The body mass index was ≥25 kg/m(2) in 27 patients (mean, 31 kg/m(2); range, 19-51 kg/m(2)), and the homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance index was ≥2.5 in 24 patients (mean, 4.7; range, 0.7-21). Two patients showed progression at 12 weeks [6%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2-18]. At 36 weeks, 29 (81%; 95% CI 65-90) patients achieved CR, and 5 (14%; 95% CI 6-29) patients achieved partial response. During a median follow-up of 38 months (range, 9-66 months) after remission, relapse was confirmed in three of the patients who had achieved CR (relapse rate, 10%). The 3-year estimated RFS rate was 89%. No patients experienced severe toxicity.
Conclusions: Metformin inhibited disease relapse after MPA therapy. The combination of metformin and MPA in EC treatment should be studied further.
Trial registration number: UMIN 000002210.
Keywords: endometrial cancer; fertility-sparing treatment; insulin resistance; medroxyprogesterone acetate; metformin.
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