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Using metformin?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnmc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 28 2011 at 10:28pm
Thanks for the posting Donna!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote outnumbered Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 01 2011 at 10:17am

Just got back from C4YW and the metformin thing did come up a little.  Nothing too specific and nothing more to add to what you all have posted.  However, a lightbulb went on in my head and  I am intrigued.  As some of you know, I have been baffled by the fact that I am BRCA1+ as is my mother, however, she has not developed any cancer.  Now I know the BRCA1+ puts us at 80% lifetime risk and perhaps she is in the 20%, or perhaps (God Forbid) its a not yet scenario, but I have nonetheless been intrigued. 

Well, my Mom has been on metformin for many years.  Although it did not prevent anythig in Cheeks' case, perhaps it did for my Mom.  Or maybe its a preventative for BRCA+ tnbcers.  I know its a stretch, but why not? 
 
Anyway, I have written an email to the contacts on the trial.  Lets see if I get any response. 
~Sara

DX @ age 40 6/24/08 Stage 1 Grade 3 BRCA1+ 187delAG

BMX (nipple-areola-sparing) 8/5/08

Redo BMX (remove nipple and areola) w/ Lat Flap 7/6/09

BSO 9/3/09

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mainsailset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 01 2011 at 10:24am
Sara, that is fascinating, fingers crossed you can get a response!
dx 7/08 TN 14x6.5x5.5 cm tumor

3 Lymph nodes involved, Taxol/Sunitab+AC, 5/09 dbl masectomy, path 2mm tumor removed, lymphs all clear, RAD 32 finished 9/11/09. 9/28 CT clear 10/18/10 CT clear
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 01 2011 at 12:38pm
Sarah,
 
Good news indeed.  I can't help think there maybe some link and possibly help for us TNBCers.
 
Donna
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote outnumbered Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 01 2011 at 2:25pm
Here is the response I got...
 

Thank you for the email.

 

It is not possible to state the exact role that metformin may have had in your mothers situation.

 

However, a series of observational studies published in the past 5 years have reported reduced cancer incidence and/or mortality among diabetics who receive metformin (versus other drugs) to treat type 2 diabetes.

 

While this data cannot be used to prove that metformin has a role in preventing or treating breast cancer, it does provide a rationale for evaluating metformin in well designed clinical trials such as MA.32.

 

Best of luck with everything,

~Sara

DX @ age 40 6/24/08 Stage 1 Grade 3 BRCA1+ 187delAG

BMX (nipple-areola-sparing) 8/5/08

Redo BMX (remove nipple and areola) w/ Lat Flap 7/6/09

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 01 2011 at 3:12pm
I like your new pic, Sara. :)
d

DX 2/08@43 stg II IDC; gr2,0 nodes. Neoadj chemo, first ACx2 (fail) then CarboTaxotereX6(better). Lump, Rads done 11/08; Clodronate. False alarm queen: PetCT lung & TM marker. NED. PBM w/recon 9/10.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote outnumbered Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 01 2011 at 3:13pm
Thanks...  You do know what it represents, right?
~Sara

DX @ age 40 6/24/08 Stage 1 Grade 3 BRCA1+ 187delAG

BMX (nipple-areola-sparing) 8/5/08

Redo BMX (remove nipple and areola) w/ Lat Flap 7/6/09

BSO 9/3/09

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 01 2011 at 5:04pm
No, please tell us.
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote outnumbered Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 01 2011 at 5:23pm
Well Donna, I know its been a while but it looks like you may be able to re-join the club now.  Thumbs Up
She is the false alarm queen.  At least that is exactly what I thought of when I bought her.  All that talk months ago of ball gowns and tiara's.... 
 
 
~Sara

DX @ age 40 6/24/08 Stage 1 Grade 3 BRCA1+ 187delAG

BMX (nipple-areola-sparing) 8/5/08

Redo BMX (remove nipple and areola) w/ Lat Flap 7/6/09

BSO 9/3/09

NED since 08/05/2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 01 2011 at 5:59pm
Thanks Sarah.  What a wonderful idea for the false alarms!  So much easier than trying to fit into that ball gown and tiara.  Hope to be back into that category soon.

Donna
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 01 2011 at 7:53pm
Oh my gosh, that is SO wonderful!!   I should have guessed. :)
love,
d

DX 2/08@43 stg II IDC; gr2,0 nodes. Neoadj chemo, first ACx2 (fail) then CarboTaxotereX6(better). Lump, Rads done 11/08; Clodronate. False alarm queen: PetCT lung & TM marker. NED. PBM w/recon 9/10.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 01 2011 at 8:33pm
Maybe you could provide a link where we can buy them for the false alarms:)  I want one because I want all my future alarms to be false!

Donna
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 23 2011 at 7:26pm
Constantine from the No Surrender Breast Cancer Survivor Forum was commenting on a question about IPT.  In his reply, he touched on Metformin.  Here's the excerpt:

And mounting evidence is moving massively in the opposite direction, namely of finding that anti-glycemic agents like the anti-diabetic drug metformin (Glugophage), and anti-glycemic diets, are recurrence and metastasis risk-reductive, the reason being, in part as I have hypothesized and brought evidence to support, via influence over the primitive development molecular pathway known as MTOR, which as I have predicted, along with the Hedgehog pathway family and their intersection with cancer stem cells (CSC), is the focal point of an explosion of translational and clinical research bringing us closer to a cure for breast and other cancers.  Deeply underlying pathways like mTOR and Hedgehog, Wnt, and Notch is, I predict, where we will find the answers.   But in the present state of accumulated knowledge, robust scientific evidence speaks clearly: simplifying greatly, we want less, not more, insulin.  

http://www.nosurrenderbreastcancersurvivorforum.org/



Edited by 123Donna - Mar 23 2011 at 7:29pm
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 24 2011 at 6:25pm
I've asked about Metformin and will probably start taking it next month after I'm finished with chemo.  Besides reducing insulin levels, I was also advised to eat an anti-inflammatory diet.  Try to go as much Vegan as possible and stick with fish or chicken.  Only eat red meat on occasion but not every day.  I've made an appointment with a Dietitian next month.

And of course, exercise!  The exercise part I've been lacking since this chemo is currently so fatiguing that just going to work and doing as much of my daily chores around the house just wear me out.  I hope to feel better in a few weeks where I can be more active.

Donna
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Littlesis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 25 2011 at 7:07am

Donna,

How did you get your doctor to agree to prescribe Metformin for you?  I showed my sister Natalie some of the studies I found here and from doing my own research and she seemed interested.  I think she wants to ask her doctor about the Metformin studies, but is a little reluctant.  She is only about half way through chemo at the moment. 

my sister
age 44 at diagnosis now 45
dx 12/10 IDC TN, Stg 1 or 2
BRCA 1&2- (though fam hx)
4 DD Taxotere, 1 AC down 3 to go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 25 2011 at 7:19am
Littlesis,

I think she was aware of the trials and studies behind reducing insulin levels and the potential anti-tumor benefits.  I mentioned it in an attempt to try anything to prevent a recurrence.  We just don't have any adjuvant therapy besides chemo available to us.  She also stressed to me the importance of diet (anti-inflammatory) and exercise.  These last two I need to work harder on once I'm done with chemo.
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Littlesis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 25 2011 at 9:50am
Thanks Donna.  I have some studies Natalie asked me to print off for her to share with her doctor next appt.  Hopefully she's on top of the latest info out there.  I know my sis is already working on her diet and wants to add more exercise to the mix when she's able.  I'll keep you posted on how it goes.  Nat starts A/C first week of April.
my sister
age 44 at diagnosis now 45
dx 12/10 IDC TN, Stg 1 or 2
BRCA 1&2- (though fam hx)
4 DD Taxotere, 1 AC down 3 to go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2011 at 7:48am

New Test Identifies Cancer Patients To Benefit From 10p-A-Day Diabetes Drug

Scientists have developed a new test to identify patients with aggressive breast cancer who could benefit from a 10p-a-day diabetes drug.

They used a new method based on the food cancer cells eat to predict which patients had a poor prognosis. Excitingly, they suggest these patients could benefit from metformin, a cheap and safe diabetes drug which is showing great potential as a cancer treatment.

The findings come from the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit at the University of Manchester and Thomas Jefferson University in the USA and are published today in the journal Cell Cycle.

Professor Michael Lisanti, from the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit at the University of Manchester, said: "We've shown that the saying, 'you are what you eat' holds true for cancer. The food cancer cells consume is crucial to how well a patient does and what treatment they need.

"If cancer cells are consuming high-energy food, this makes a tumour more aggressive and harder to treat. However, patients could benefit from metformin, which cuts off this fuel supply. There is more work to do but this test could be an important new way of tailoring treatments to a patients needs, across a range of cancers."

Professor Lisanti's team first looked at cells in the laboratory and fed them high-energy foods, known as lactate and ketones. They found which genes were expressed based on this fuel supply, and developed a gene signature based on this.

They then looked at 219 breast cancer patients and studied which cancer cells fed on ketones and lactate. This food comes healthy cells nearby. They found those patients with cancer cells which consumed high levels of ketones and lactate were more likely to have their disease return, for it to spread to other organs and to die. The test combines the gene signature with the ketone and lactate food supply. This could show which patients are likely to have a poor prognosis - with those same patients potentially benefiting from metformin.

Professor Anthony Howell, Director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Unit in Manchester, said: "We have discovered important new insights into how cancers feed themselves. It is a step towards having each patient get the right treatment for them - what we call personalised medicine. We are looking at a new way to separate patients based on who should respond well to the treatments we have, and who might need something different.

"It is particularly encouraging that some of those treatments might already be in the doctor's drug cabinet, and cheap to prescribe. We have some way to go but we hope that drugs like metformin will be saving lives of breast cancer patients over the next few years."

Source
Breakthrough Breast Cancer

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/222376.php
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Littlesis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2011 at 8:51am
Donna,
 
Thanks for posting this article.  This is encouraging.  I'm going to forward this link to my sister. 
 
By the way, I've been meaning to tell you that I love your new picture.
 
Tonya
my sister
age 44 at diagnosis now 45
dx 12/10 IDC TN, Stg 1 or 2
BRCA 1&2- (though fam hx)
4 DD Taxotere, 1 AC down 3 to go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pink Warrior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2011 at 2:13pm
I can't get my oncologist to prescribe it.  =/
Dx:10/09,IDC Stg 2,Gr 3,TN
BRCA 1&2 -
Partial DD EC/AC
Local recur 11/10
BMX 12/10 Right proph
TC x 4 Rads x 33
9/11 Skin mets, mediastinal & hilar nodes
Abraxane/Avastin
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