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Use of metformin in preventing prostate cancer progression

Dr Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Lecturer in Cancer Epidemiology and Co-Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Group at King’s College London has received an award of £245,513 from the Moulton Charitable Foundation to fund a study on the ‘Therapeutic use of metformin in preventing prostate cancer progression’.

The study will take place in collaboration with Dr Sarah Rudman, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, and Professor Massimo Loda, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston. The trial will be conducted in collaboration with King’s Health Partners’ (KHP) Prostate Cancer Research Network.

The award will fund research into the commonly used anti-diabetic drug metformin, which has been associated with a reduced risk of PCa diagnosis and mortality.

The research will assess which tumour components are affected by metformin in a trial using prostate tissue from before and after metformin treatment.

There is a pressing need to understand how a patient’s metabolism may affect prostate cancer progression and treatment. This is important given the increasing prevalence of conditions such as metabolic syndrome, which convey significant risk of early death in addition to prostate cancer diagnosis.

Dr Hemelrijck said: ‘The trial we propose will improve the understanding of biological processes that drive the heterogeneous clinical course of prostate cancer and in doing so will identify ways to individualise patients’ treatment. We are very grateful to the Moulton Charitable Foundation as their support will help us in identifying possible therapeutic targets that can slow down or prevent disease progression. This is an important step forward in the development of KHP’s Prostate Cancer Research Network.’

Find out more about King's Health Partners’ Prostate Cancer Research Network