Metformin: Promising anti-neoplastic agent in breast cancer

Role of metformin as an anti-neoplastic agent in the prevention and management of breast cancer has been advocated in past few decades. Several endocrinal mechanisms are involved in the etiopathogenesis of breast cancer. Insulin promotes growth and in vitro survival of malignant mammary cells. High risk for breast cancer among diabetics is attributed to activation of the insulin- and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signalling pathways and increased signalling through the oestrogen receptors. Metformin, an insulin-lowering drug as an anti-cancer agent in the management of breast cancer in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings is under evaluation. It might reduce growth and proliferation of malignant cells either through modulation of various molecular pathways directly or down streaming the targets. But its exact mechanism of action remains unclear.

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