The effect of metformin on the survival of colorectal cancer patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus
Evidence from previous studies suggests a protective effect of metformin in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). The aim of this study was to examine the associations between metformin use and overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in CRC patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). We retrospectively included patients who underwent surgery for CRC at Limoges’ University Hospital between 2005 and 2019 and diagnosed with type 2 DM. Data on the characteristics of patients, CRC, comorbidities and drug exposure were collected from the electronic medical records. The exposure was the use of metformin and the outcomes were OS and DFS. We identified 290 CRC patients with type 2 DM. A total of 144 (49.7%) of them were treated with metformin. Metformin users were significantly younger, with higher body mass index and less diabetes-related complications compared to non-users. The 2-year OS was significantly higher in metformin users than in non-users (86.9 ± 2.9% vs. 71.0 ± 4.0%, p = 0.001). In multivariate analysis, metformin use was associated with better OS (adjusted hazard ratios [aHR] = 0.45 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 0.21–0.96) and better DFS (aHR = 0.31; 95% CI: 0.18–0.54). In conclusion, the use of metformin may improve OS and DFS in CRC patients with type 2 DM.