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Objective: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a devastating disease, with an overall 5-year survival rate of only 3% to 5%. As the current therapies offer very limited survival benefits, novel therapeutic strategies are urgently required to treat this disease. Here, we determined whether metformin administration inhibits the growth of PANC-1 and MiaPaCa-2 tumor xenografts in vivo.

Methods: Different xenograft models, including orthotopic implantation, were used to determine whether intraperitoneal or oral administration of metformin inhibits the growth of pancreatic cancer in vivo.

Results: We demonstrate that metformin given once daily intraperitoneally at various doses (50-250 mg/kg) to nude mice inhibited the growth of PANC-1 xenografts in a dose-dependent manner. A significant effect of metformin was obtained at 50 mg/kg and maximal effect at 200 mg/kg. Metformin administration also caused a significant reduction in the phosphorylation of ribosomal S6 protein and ERK in these xenografts. Metformin also inhibited the growth of pancreatic cancer xenografts when administered orally (2.5 mg/mL) either before or after tumor implantation. Importantly, oral administration of metformin also inhibited the growth of MiaPaCa-2 tumors xenografted orthotopically.

Conclusions: The studies presented here provide further evidence indicating that metformin offers a potential novel approach for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma prevention and therapy.

(C) 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.