Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between metformin therapy and the incidence of gastric cancer (GC) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods: We systemically searched the following databases for studies published between the databases' dates of inception and Nov. 2016: PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, the Web of Science, and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI). Hazard ratios (HR)and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between metformin therapy and the incidence of GC in patients with T2DM were the outcome measures assessed in this study. STATA 12.0 (Stata Corporation, College Station, Texas, USA) was used to conduct the statistical analysis.
Results: A total of seven cohort studies including 591,077 patients met all the criteria for inclusion in the analysis. Our data showed that metformin therapy was associated with a significantly lower incidence of GC in patients with T2DM than other types of therapy (HR=0.763, 95% CI: 0.642˜0.905). Subgroup analysis showed that patients living in Taiwan benefitted more from metformin therapy than patients living in any other region, as metformin significantly decreased the risk of GC in patients living in Taiwan but did not significantly decrease the risk of GC in patients living in other regions (HR=0.514, 95% CI: 0.384-0.688). The results of the present analysis support the idea that metformin facilitates reductions in the risk of T2DM-related GC.
Conclusions: The risk of GC among patients with T2DM is lower in patients receiving metformin therapy than in patients not receiving metformin therapy.
Keywords: gastric cancer; meta-analysis; metformin; risk; type 2 diabetes mellitus.