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Antitumor Effects of Metformin Under Study in Bladder Cancer

By: Sarah Campen, PharmD
Posted: Monday, August 8, 2022

The antihyperglycemic agent metformin may inhibit bladder cancer cell migration and growth while also encouraging apoptosis, according to research published in BMC Urology. Typically used as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, metformin appears to prevent the activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway—an oncogenic pathway associated with cell proliferation and inflammation. “Metformin inhibits bladder cancer T24 and 5637 cell migration and proliferation, activates the caspase cascade signaling pathway, and induces cell apoptosis,” stated Lin Hao, PhD, of Xuzhou Central Hospital, Jiangsu, China, and colleagues.

Bladder cancer T24 and 5637 cell lines were cultured in vitro and divided into The cell lines were treated at four different concentrations of metformin: 5, 10, 15, and 20 mmol/L.

After 48 hours of exposure to metformin at varying concentrations, the proliferation and migration abilities of T24 and 5637 cells decreased in a concentration-dependent manner compared with the control group (P < .05).

Using flow cytometry, the authors detected a significantly higher apoptosis rate in the metformin group than in the control group (P < .05). The level of cleaved-caspase 3 and cleaved-PARP protein in the metformin group was also increased in each treatment group compared with the control group. Conversely, the rate of PI3K, Akt, and mTOR phosphorylation in T24 and 5637 cells was significantly reduced by metformin in a concentration-dependent manner (P < .05).

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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