Metformin as a potential anti-proliferative agent against cancer cells: A comparative study elucidating the mechanism of action and anti-proliferative preference
Introduction: Metformin specifically inhibits the regulation of cell proliferation and survival via several mechanisms. This study aimed to investigate the anti proliferative effect of metformin against different cancer cell lines, in order to delineate its specificity and elucidate its mechanism.
Methods: The inhibitory concentration (IC50) of metformin against several cancer cell lines was calculated and compared with the corresponding values of doxorubicin as a reference drug.
Results: Metformin was effective against PC3>Caco>HeLa>Hep-2>A549>HepG2>MCF7 cancer cell lines. The potency of metformin as anticancer agent in reference to doxorubicin ranged between 1.1 and 8%.
Conclusions: The anti proliferative effect of metformin was attributed to its reduction of the glucose uptake and oxidation, leading to alteration of cell metabolism. Its anti proliferative effect against PC3 cell line with a minor effect against MCF7 cell line indicates that metformin helps the patients with positive androgen rather than estrogen receptor cancer cells.