Author(s): Zhang Y, Guan M, Zheng Z, Zhang Q, Gao F,
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Abstract In diabetic patients complicated with colorectal cancer (CRC), metformin treatment was reported to have diverse correlation with CRC-specific mortality. In laboratory studies, metformin was reported to affect the survival of cancer stem cells (CSCs) in breast and pancreatic cancers and glioblastoma. Although cscs play a critical role in the resistance to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) chemotherapy in CRC patients, the effect of metformin on cscs in CRC patients and the synergistic effect of metformin in combination with 5-FU on cscs are not reported. In the present study pathological examinations were performed in 86 CRC patients complicated with type 2 DM who had been divided into a metformin group and a non-metformin group. Comparisons regarding pathological type, incidence of metastasis, expression of CD133 and β-catenin were conducted between the two groups. We explored the synergistic effects of metformin in combination with 5-FU on the proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis and the proportion of CD133+ cscs of SW620 human colorectal cancer cell lines. The results show that metformin treatment had reverse correlations with the proportion of patients with poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, the proportion of CD133+ cscs in CRC patients with type 2 DM. Metformin enhanced the antiproliferative effects of 5-FU on CD133+ cscs in SW620 cells. These findings provide an important complement to previous study. Inhibition of the proliferation of CD133+ cscs may be a potential mechanism responsible for the association of metformin use with improved CRC outcomes in CRC patients with type 2 diabetes.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Diabetes & Practice