Metformin Is Associated with a Favorable Outcome in Diabetic Patients with Cervical Lymph Node Metastasis of Differentiated Thyroid Cancer.

Research paper by Eun Kyung EK Jang, Won Gu WG Kim, Hyemi H Kwon, Yun Mi YM Choi, Min Ji MJ Jeon, Tae Yong TY Kim, Young Kee YK Shong, Won Bae WB Kim, Eui Young EY Kim

Indexed on: 12 Nov '15Published on: 12 Nov '15Published in: European thyroid journal


Type 2 diabetes is known to increase the risk and progression of certain types of cancer. Metformin treatment of diabetic patients is reported to have beneficial effects on some cancers. We evaluated the clinical outcome of diabetic patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) according to metformin treatment.We reviewed 943 patients diagnosed with DTC after total thyroidectomy between 1995 and 2005 in a tertiary hospital. The study involved 60 diabetic patients and 210 control patients matched for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and tumor size.There were no differences in the clinicopathological features and disease-free survival (DFS) between diabetic patients and the control group over 8.9 years of follow-up. Of the diabetic patients with DTC, 35 patients (58%) were treated with metformin. There were no differences in age, sex, BMI, tumor size, antidiabetic medication, glycated hemoglobin, or C-peptide levels in metformin and nonmetformin groups. However, cervical lymph node (LN) metastasis was more prevalent in the metformin group than in the nonmetformin group (OR 3.52, p = 0.035). Among diabetic patients with cervical LN metastasis of DTC, the metformin subgroup (17.1 years) was associated with longer DFS than the nonmetformin subgroup (8.6 years) (HR 0.16, p = 0.021); metformin treatment was also associated with longer DFS in this subgroup in multivariate analysis after adjusting age, BMI, duration of diabetes, presence of tumor at resection margin, and serum thyroglobulin level at ablation (HR 0.03, p = 0.035).Metformin treatment is associated with low recurrence in diabetic patients with cervical LN metastasis of DTC.