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Metformin-Anyone on this trial?

145791026

Comments

  • GmaNiki
    GmaNiki Member Posts: 9
    edited March 2012

    Wow I had not heard of this study. but just today I had decided tol go back on my metformin. I am type 2 but have been diet control for almost a year thanks to weight loss, but my asthma has been so bad this winter I am on my third round or prednisone and that causes my blood sugar to rise and I have gained 5 pounds in the past week. My PCP said I should watch my numbers and if I felt they were getting out of control I could start back on the metformin and just give him a call to put it back in my record. It is bad enough having the stress of waiting for surgery,the bronchitis and asthma medicine that saps all my energy and high sugar makes me hot and so very tired. Now maybe there will be even more help.from metformin..

  • jenrio
    jenrio Member Posts: 22
    edited March 2012

    For the lady who's planning to drop out if she's on placebo of the clinical trial, and whose onco won't prescribe metformin unless on trial:

    That is very much the problem with conducting a clinical study with a cheap no-patent drug.      The data coming from such a clinical study is easily tainted and biased.   As a result, definite data from double-blind randomized trial is hard to achieve (patients on placebo dropping out, or worse, secretly on the drug, and as a result, the control arm doing as well as experimental arm even when experimental drugs are very effective, just hard to prove).    The patients and researchers are truly doing science and all future patients a great favor by making a commitment.

     That said, I understand that your need for choosing the best treatment for yourself and your family too.     I just want to defend your onco for her/his working on this clinical trial and trying to get more patients in.

  • Wendyspet
    Wendyspet Member Posts: 103
    edited March 2012

    Leesa Ann - the nurse indicated about half way through the trial.  So I think that would be 2013?  As I remember, and I don't have my papers, the trial goes thru 2016. 

    But that would be up to the government too. 

  • Fighter_34
    Fighter_34 Member Posts: 496
    edited March 2012

    On my last visit my research nurse was updating my profile and asking questions she stated that 'they' would be calling for mid-cycle reports soon.

  • weety
    weety Member Posts: 371
    edited March 2012

    Can't wait to hear some results!!!

  • Patriotic
    Patriotic Member Posts: 30
    edited March 2012

    I started the trial last Thursday. At first, I thought I got the placebo. But, at about day 3 forward, I noticed ongoing constipation. Last night, I felt a tad nauseous and I've begun experiencing heartburn. Great. No, I am NOT pregnant, either!! :) With Metformin, most people experience diarrhea. I guess I'd rather have that than the constipation. Metformin can cause B-12 deficiency, which can also cause constipation. So, I will try supplementing with B-12. If that doesn't work, then, I will have to cut way down on carbs.



    So, I believe I am getting the drug. I will know for certain in about a month, when they double the dose.



    Anyone else experiencing this?

  • Patriotic
    Patriotic Member Posts: 30
    edited March 2012

    Jenrio, I am not downplaying the importance of clinical trials at all. I am only saying that I feel that it is ironic that the Onc would push Metformin via the trial yet seem dismissive if I asked my PCP to prescribe it. It's a bit hypocritical, especially when lots of data has already shown it could be very helpful.



    Patients on placebo AND those who are getting the drug do drop out of trials, sometimes due to SE's or other reasons That's the nature of the business. I would never secretly drop-out or take the real drug during a trial without telling my Onc. That would not be ethical at all. But, I also don't want to spend up to 5 years in a trial, while getting a placebo, with Stage III cancer. It just feels useless to me, however terrible that may sound. And I've done 2 other trials.



    Everything about cancer and it's treatment is about weighing risks and benefits. Same with trials. I just don't personally feel that putting all your eggs in the proverbial Onc Easter basket is very
    wise, either. I like my Onc. She's brilliant.....one of the top in the field, etc. However, these people
    aren't Gods and there are limitations to what they can do.

  • riley08
    riley08 Member Posts: 5
    edited April 2012

    Starella... Great article, very encouraging. Thanks for posting.

  • bak94
    bak94 Member Posts: 652
    edited April 2012

    My MO is involved with a metformin trial but said I do not qualify for it as I have had breast cancer twice, then he said he will get me on the drug out of trial. He must think it works. The MO's don't know which patients are getting the drug vs. the placebo, right? So they would not necessarily know in the middle of a trial if it looks promising or not, right? These are double blind studies, or are they?

  • navymom
    navymom Member Posts: 842
    edited April 2012

    Saw my PCP today.  He gave me a script for Metformin 850 twice a day.  Instructed me to start with one aday for a few weeks then if tolerating it ok can go to full dose.

    I want to say thank you to all who are in studies.....I appreciate you.....words are not enough...

  • outfield
    outfield Member Posts: 235
    edited April 2012

    Navy, take those first once a day doses at bedtime.  That minimizes side effects - which usually go away pretty quickly - because you're asleep when they're at their peak.

  • Chocolaterocks
    Chocolaterocks Member Posts: 94
    edited April 2012

    Can a dirt-cheap diabetes drug fight cancer?

    Health
    var cnnOmniPartner = "Health.com";
    By Anne Harding, Health.com
    updated 4:23 PM EDT, Thu April 5, 2012
    Studies have found that metformin appears to slow or stop the growth of a wide range of cancer cells.
    Studies have found that metformin appears to slow or stop the growth of a wide range of cancer cells.
    STORY HIGHLIGHTS
    • Metformin is now available in various generic versions that cost just pennies per pill
    • Extensive trials will be needed before the drug can be used as a standard cancer treatment
    • The two-year survival rate was 30% among the 117 patients taking metformin

    (Health.com) -- Each year billions of dollars are spent in the search to find new cancer drugs. Very few of these would-be treatments end up being approved by the government and entering widespread use, which makes it all the more intriguing that one of the most promising new cancer drugs in years is, in fact, an old drug.

    Metformin, a diabetes drug, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1995, and since then tens of millions of Americans with diabetes have taken it daily to control their blood sugar.

    The first hint that metformin might also have anticancer properties came a decade later, when two research teams separately reported that diabetes patients were less likely to develop cancer, and less likely to die from the disease, if they were taking the drug.

    This news wasn't entirely surprising: Metformin treats diabetes in part by lowering insulin levels, and several types of cancer -- such as those of the breast, colon, and prostate -- have been linked to high levels of that hormone.

    But then, in 2006, researchers in Canada working with breast-cancer cells found that metformin increased the activity of an enzyme involved in tumor suppression, suggesting that the drug might fight cancer by working directly on cancer cells.

    Health.com: Know the warning signs of type 2 diabetes

    These two developments "set off a minor firestorm of interest," says Pamela Goodwin, M.D., a breast cancer researcher at the University of Toronto. "Basically there's been a convergence of all this information, and even before it was available we could see there was a strong signal here."

    Over the past several years, studies in cell cultures and animals have found that metformin appears to slow or stop the growth of a wide range of cancer cells, including those associated with breast, prostate, lung, and endometrial cancer.

    And the pace of research has picked up. This week, at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Chicago, researchers presented preliminary results from no fewer than 20 studies on metformin, including some in humans.

    "I think certainly over the last two or three years that metformin has come to the fore, and people recognize that it has an important role to play," said Anthony Joshua, M.B.B.S., a staff medical oncologist at Princess Margaret Hospital, in Toronto, who presented new research at the meeting.

    Health.com: 25 breast cancer myths busted

    The promising study findings aren't the only cause for enthusiasm among doctors. Metformin's decades-long history as a diabetes drug -- it entered the U.K. market back in 1958 -- suggests that it's generally safe.

    It's also extremely cheap. The U.S. patent on metformin expired in 2002, so the drug is now available in various generic versions that cost just pennies per pill.

    Extensive placebo-controlled clinical trials will be needed before metformin can be used as a standard cancer treatment. While it's too soon to say how that research will play out, metformin's apparent versatility and low cost seems to offer unusual potential, says Michael Pollak, M.D., director of cancer prevention at McGill University, in Montreal.

    "This is not a cancer drug development story like any other," says Pollak, who led the 2006 study on metformin and enzymes. "It contrasts so much with what you hear in cancer research: doctors developing new targeted therapy that costs $800 a month, and it works a little bit -- but only for certain kinds of patients with certain kinds of tumors.

    We don't very often see [that] the generic drug that's available at your drugstore anyways might have some use for cancer."

    Health.com: Prescription drugs that lead double lives

    There may be a reason for that. Pharmaceutical companies that spend billions to develop patented -- and expensive -- cancer drugs have little incentive to fund or conduct studies on generics like metformin.

    As a result, metformin researchers have struggled to scrape together the money needed for clinical trials, which can run into the millions. Many of the ongoing metformin studies around the world are "being done on a shoestring budget, in a sort of informal way," Pollak says.

    "I imagine that if [metformin] was a proprietary drug owned by a major pharmaceutical company, they would be developing it very aggressively, because all of the indicators point in the same direction, and that's unusual," Goodwin says.

    Governments and nonprofit organizations have begun to fill the money gap. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), for instance, is funding dozens of clinical trials that are currently under way or recruiting patients.

    One of these studies, led by Goodwin, is exploring the effect of metformin on breast-cancer recurrence in 3,582 women. The other major funders for the trial are the Canadian Cancer Society and Apotex, a generic drug maker that has agreed to provide free metformin and placebo pills.

    Health.com: Simple things that may cut your breast cancer risk

    A recent shift in thinking at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which includes the NCI, seems to be working in metformin's favor.

    In 2011, NIH director Francis Collins, M.D., said that "drug rescue and repurposing" would be a major focus of the agency, with the goal of investigating new uses for already approved or abandoned drugs.

    A few days later, the agency's associate director for science policy, Amy Patterson, M.D., mentioned metformin as a prime example of this approach. Two-thirds of the NCI-funded clinical trials of metformin now under way were initiated in 2011 or later.

    The preliminary research in humans has been encouraging. At the AACR meeting, Joshua and his colleagues reported that cancer-cell growth seemed to slow in 22 men with prostate cancer who took metformin every day for three to four weeks before prostate cancer surgery. The study, however, did not include a placebo or control group.

    "The drug has potential in early-stage prostate cancer," Joshua says. "My job now is to work out the characteristics of the men who had the best response to the metformin so we can design appropriate studies."

    In another study, researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, found that metformin was associated with better outcomes in diabetes patients with pancreatic cancer, an especially aggressive form of cancer.

    The two-year survival rate was 30% among the 117 patients taking metformin and just 15% among 185 patients not on the drug.

    So far, most metformin research has focused on cancers related to obesity and diabetes, like pancreatic cancer, Li says. But because metformin may stem cancer through several different channels -- by lowering insulin, directly slowing tumor growth, or promoting suicide by cancer cells -- it could potentially prove useful in many types of cancer.

    Health.com: 12 myths about insulin and type 2 diabetes

    That possibility is a long ways from being confirmed, however, and in the meantime researchers investigating metformin temper their optimism with caution. "It's not as fantastic as it sounds at first," Pollak says. "At first you see it and say, 'Half the cancers are gone -- let's put it in the drinking water.'"

    But the findings so far haven't shown that metformin directly reduces cancer risk or mortality in humans, Pollak adds. In studies such as Li's that have looked at cancer outcomes in diabetes patients, for instance, doctors may be prescribing metformin -- rather than insulin or other diabetes drugs -- only to their healthier patients, who may be less likely to develop or die from cancer anyway.

    Moreover, even if some of metformin's anticancer effects are confirmed in humans, there's no guarantee the drug will become a useful treatment in real-world practice. "When we're dealing with patients, we have to always be aware that [metformin] possibly could not have clinical relevance," Goodwin says. "So we have to test it."

    if(typeof CNN.expElements==='object'){CNN.expElements.init();}

    Just in case anyone missed this!

  • navymom
    navymom Member Posts: 842
    edited April 2012

    Thanks for the advise, Outfield.  Did you find that taking it with food made things better, too?

  • outfield
    outfield Member Posts: 235
    edited April 2012

    Sorry, don't know about the food because I didn't bother trying to try that, just took it at bedtime.  It didn't make me nauseated, just bloated and gassy.  Honestly, my gas woke me a few times that first night, but since then it's been very easy.

  • fluffqueen01
    fluffqueen01 Member Posts: 1,795
    edited April 2012

    Navymom....when I started, my dirrections were to break my pill in half and take hal in the morning and half at night for a week. Then move to one tablet in the morning and half at night for a week, then go to the full dose. I didnt really have too many problems, other than the diahrea, which has pretty muched evened out now.



    I think the pills stink when I open the bottle, but then the pill itself doesnt smell bad, so I dont really know what it is.



    I dont run it through insurance as it is free from my local grocery store and only $4 at Marsh. Diabetes is rampant on my moms side of the family, so it is a miracle that I dont have it. So actually hoping this might help on both sides of things.

  • lintrollerderby
    lintrollerderby Member Posts: 70
    edited April 2012

    Hi everyone,
    Please forgive my very lengthy post, but I feel like I have to be wordy to explain
    what I'm really thinking about this.
    I started developing strange symptoms a few years back, such as unwanted hair growth
    on my face and a slight amount in other unwanted areas, my scalp hair which was
    very long and had always been very thick had started to thin and noticeably recede,
    and I was having very unusual periods. I started doing research on my own (I
    will research things to death) and realized I likely had a hormone imbalance of
    excess estrogen, excess androgen, and not enough progesterone. Even though I
    was 5'1" and 95 pounds and certainly not trying to lose any weight, I
    noticed that I had gained about 5 pounds that absolutely would not come off.
    I'm in no way complaining about being 100 pounds, but when I'd been 5 pounds
    lighter for years and then developed all of the other symptoms, I knew
    something wasn't right. Add to that, I'm very petite boned and 5 pounds is
    noticeable on my frame and it made my clothes snug. That all fit with the
    hormone imbalance. I then developed horrible pain one night that landed me in the
    emergency room and I learned I had a ruptured ovarian cyst. It was all becoming
    too much to ignore and I made an appointment with my GYN to discuss my thoughts
    on hormone imbalance. Because of the awful bleeding between periods and the
    ruptured cyst, she did a transvaginal ultrasound and discovered I had
    polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which can definitely lead to hormone
    imbalance. She tested me and said I did in fact have estrogen dominance,
    androgen excess, and progesterone deficiency. She put me on Yaz and said I'd
    need to have a repeat ultrasound in 3 months to check the cysts. Within 2
    weeks, I noticed slightly less facial hair, no more irregular and constant
    bleeding, and I'd gone back down to my normal weight, so I went back early to
    have the ultrasound. All of the cysts were gone. I continued on the Yaz even
    though I hated being on it. Through my research of the hormone imbalance, I
    knew the dangers of synthetic hormones, but my GYN said I was at a very high
    risk for uterine cancer without taking it because the PCOS had caused my uterus
    to build a thick lining and that was also gone on the ultrasound I had done a
    few weeks after beginning Yaz. I was planning on using the Yaz long enough to
    get relief of the symptoms until I could find a doctor well-versed in
    bio-identical hormones so I'd at least be looking at less pharmaceutical
    toxins. I knew that Yaz was just a band-aid and I needed to get to the root
    cause and get my hormones balanced. Before I could even get in to see the
    doctor I was waiting to see, I developed a very strange symptom. I never, ever
    crave sweets. I maybe eat one candy bar a year and in the approximately 6 weeks
    leading up to finding my lump, I was craving sweets to the point I was replacing
    meals with baked goods and literally spending hours per day collecting recipes
    for desserts. My online recipe box on Allrecipes.com is scary. It shows the
    date a particular recipe is saved and I'd been a member for 9 years with over
    1,200 recipes saved. I look at it now and it goes from pages and pages of
    entrees with less than 10 desserts, to 18 pages of nothing but desserts that
    were all saved in the weeks leading to my finding the lump. I began to fear
    that I was pre-diabetic because PCOS sufferers have a high incidence of
    diabetes and insulin resistance. Before I could address this, I found my breast
    lump and was ultimately diagnosed with Triple Negative at age 34 last year. The
    surgeon that did my excisional biopsy did not know it was TN and just told me
    it was a basal-cell carcinoma that was aggressive. My husband and I left his
    office that day stunned and I told my husband I was sure that my cancer was
    estrogen positive and related to my ongoing hormonal issues. I was stunned a
    few days later when I had my records transferred to the cancer center and read
    them and learned that my cancer was TN. I knew in the pit of my soul that all
    of those incidents HAD to be connected somehow. There were too many unusual
    events and I'm a firm believer that a coincidence, a coincidence, and a
    coincidence IS NOT a coincidence. Because the TC cocktail put me into
    chemopause, I was happy to see that my facial hair was gone and when I finished
    chemo and my scalp hair started to return, it was thick like it used to be. I
    held my breath for my hormones to soon go back to their screwed up ways and
    sure enough--they did by Christmas. I was once again dealing with PCOS. Being TN
    and having no long-term follow-up care scares me and I feel in my soul that I
    would have a recurrence because the underlying issue was never fixed. I began
    reading everything and learned that breast cancer tumors do not just have
    estrogen, progesterone, and HER2 receptors; research is showing that they also
    have androgen and prolactin receptors, too. Now it was making sense to me. I
    became convinced that there's at least a strong possibility that what I had
    originally thought of the excess estrogen fueling my BC was actually the excess
    androgen. I knew in the back of my head from the PCOS issue that Metformin is
    used to treat PCOS because many women with the condition are diabetic or
    insulin resistant. As I kept coming across research linking Metformin and
    breast cancer studies, I also began seeing documentation of how Metformin is
    especially helpful for women with known androgen receptor positive breast
    cancer because it acts as an androgen suppressor. This makes sense to me. I
    also learned that many TN women are androgen receptor positive and this
    explains why Metformin is showing great promise with this particular subset of
    BC. It also makes me very angry that research has proven that there are AT
    LEAST 2 more known receptors in BC, but they are not tested for, let alone
    treated. To me, this helps explain why some women with a particular type of BC
    do not respond well with the prescribed treatment while women with the same
    diagnosis do--because we aren't being tested for all of the receptors and we're
    hoping they get lucky and prescribe the correct treatment based on limited
    receptor data. As many of you know from the info given during BRCA testing,
    that breast and prostate cancers are similar in their hormone sensitivity.
    Prostate cancer is often treated with anti-androgen drugs afterward and in
    clinical trials, those same drugs are working wonderfully in women with
    androgen positive BC. I took the research to my PCP and she was wonderful. She
    said since I have a PCOS diagnosis, she could treat my PCOS (wink-wink LOL)
    with Metformin since that is an accepted treatment. She was very intrigued and
    asked to keep the research I brought with me. I've only been on it a few weeks
    and it's made a difference with my hormones and I sure do hope it helps guard
    against recurrence. I figure at best it helps with recurrence, and at worse it
    only treats the PCOS. I think we all have to be our own best advocates because if
    we aren't, no one else will be. Again, I'm very sorry for such a long post. I
    just felt like I needed to explain all of the pieces I think are connected.

  • lintrollerderby
    lintrollerderby Member Posts: 70
    edited April 2012

    Hi everyone,



    Please forgive my very lengthy post, but I feel like I have to be wordy to
    explain what I'm really thinking about this.



    I started developing strange symptoms a few years back, such as unwanted hair
    growth on my face and a slight amount in other unwanted areas, my scalp hair which
    was very long and had always been very thick had started to thin and noticeably
    recede, and I was having very unusual periods. I started doing research on my
    own (I will research things to death) and realized I likely had a hormone
    imbalance of excess estrogen, excess androgen, and not enough progesterone.
    Even though I was 5'1" and 95 pounds and certainly not trying to lose any
    weight, I noticed that I had gained about 5 pounds that absolutely would not come
    off. I'm in no way complaining about being 100 pounds, but when I'd been 5 pounds
    lighter for years and then developed all of the other symptoms, I knew something
    wasn't right. Add to that, I'm very petite boned and 5 pounds is noticeable on
    my frame and it made my clothes snug. That all fit with the hormone imbalance.
    I then developed horrible pain one night that landed me in the emergency room
    and I learned I had a ruptured ovarian cyst. It was all becoming too much to
    ignore and I made an appointment with my GYN to discuss my thoughts on hormone
    imbalance. Because of the awful bleeding between periods and the ruptured cyst,
    she did a transvaginal ultrasound and discovered I had polycystic ovarian syndrome
    (PCOS) which can definitely lead to hormone imbalance. She tested me and said I
    did in fact have estrogen dominance, androgen excess, and progesterone
    deficiency. She put me on Yaz and said I'd need to have a repeat ultrasound in
    3 months to check the cysts. Within 2 weeks, I noticed slightly less facial
    hair, no more irregular and constant bleeding, and I'd gone back down to my
    normal weight, so I went back early to have the ultrasound. All of the cysts
    were gone. I continued on the Yaz even though I hated being on it. Through my
    research of the hormone imbalance, I knew the dangers of synthetic hormones,
    but my GYN said I was at a very high risk for uterine cancer without taking it
    because the PCOS had caused my uterus to build a thick lining and that was also
    gone on the ultrasound I had done a few weeks after beginning Yaz. I was
    planning on using the Yaz long enough to get relief of the symptoms until I
    could find a doctor well versed in bio-identical hormones so I'd at least be
    looking at less pharmaceutical toxins. I knew that Yaz was just a band-aid and
    I needed to get to the root cause and get my hormones balanced. Before I could
    even get in to see the doctor I was waiting to see, I developed a very strange
    symptom. I never, ever crave sweets. I maybe eat one candy bar a year and in
    the approximately 6 weeks leading up to finding my lump, I was craving sweets
    to the point I was replacing meals with baked goods and literally spending hours
    per day collecting recipes for desserts. My online recipe box on Allrecipes.com
    is scary. It shows the date a particular recipe is saved and I'd been a member
    for 9 years with over 1,200 recipes saved. I look at it now and it goes from
    pages and pages of entrees with less than 10 desserts, to 18 pages of nothing
    but desserts that were all saved in the weeks leading to my finding the lump. I
    began to fear that I was pre-diabetic because PCOS sufferers have a high incidence of diabetes
    and insulin resistance. Before I could address this, I found my breast lump and
    was ultimately diagnosed with Triple Negative at age 34 last year. The surgeon
    that did my excisional biopsy did not know it was TN and just told me it was a
    basal-cell carcinoma that was aggressive. My husband and I left his office that
    day stunned and I told my husband I was sure that my cancer was estrogen
    positive and related to my ongoing hormonal issues. I was stunned a few days
    later when I had my records transferred to the cancer center and read them and
    learned that my cancer was TN. I knew in the pit of my soul that all of those
    incidents HAD to be connected somehow. There were too many unusual events and
    I'm a firm believer that a coincidence, a coincidence, and a coincidence IS NOT
    a coincidence. Because the TC cocktail put me into chemopause, I was happy to
    see that my facial hair was gone and when I finished chemo and my scalp hair
    started to return, it was thick like it used to be. I held my breath for my
    hormones to soon go back to their screwed up ways and sure enough--they did by
    Christmas. I was once again dealing with PCOS. Being TN and having no long-term
    follow-up care scares me and I feel in my soul that I would have a recurrence
    because the underlying issue was never fixed. I began reading everything and
    learned that breast cancer tumors do not just have estrogen, progesterone, and
    HER2 receptors; research is showing that they also have androgen and prolactin
    receptors, too. Now it was making sense to me. I became convinced that there's
    at least a strong possibility that what I had originally thought of the excess
    estrogen fueling my BC was actually the excess androgen. I knew in the back of
    my head from the PCOS issue that Metformin is used to treat PCOS because many
    women with the condition are diabetic or insulin resistant. As I kept coming
    across research linking Metformin and breast cancer studies, I also began
    seeing documentation of how Metformin is especially helpful for women with
    known androgen receptor positive breast cancer because it acts as an androgen
    suppressor. This makes sense to me. I also learned that many TN women are androgen
    receptor positive and this explains why Metformin is showing great promise with
    this particular subset of BC. It also makes me very angry that research has
    proven that there are AT LEAST 2 more known receptors in BC, but they are not
    tested for, let alone treated. To me, this helps explain why some women with a
    particular type of BC do not respond well with the prescribed treatment while
    women with the same diagnosis do--because we aren't being tested for all of the
    receptors and we're hoping they get lucky and prescribe the correct treatment
    based on limited receptor data. As many of you know from the info given during
    BRCA testing, that breast and prostate cancers are similar in their hormone
    sensitivity. Prostate cancer is often treated with anti-androgen drugs
    afterward and in clinical trials, those same drugs are working wonderfully in
    women with androgen positive BC. I took the research to my PCP and she was
    wonderful. She said since I have a PCOS diagnosis, she could treat my PCOS
    (wink-wink LOL) with Metformin since that is an accepted treatment. She was
    very intrigued and asked to keep the research I brought with me. I've only been
    on it a few weeks and it's made a difference with my hormones and I sure do
    hope it helps guard against recurrence. I figure at best it helps with
    recurrence, and at worse it   only treats
    the PCOS. I think we all have to be our own best advocates because if we
    aren't, no one else will be.

    Again, I'm very sorry for such a long post. Ijust felt
    like I needed to explain all of the pieces I think are connected.

  • crking71
    crking71 Member Posts: 4
    edited April 2012

    I find this link very interesting.  I too had PCOS since puberty.  I took BC pills off and on for at least 20 years in order to regulate my cycle.  I did go on Metformin briefly when I was trying to conceive and continued through the first 20 weeks of both my pregnancies. I was given Metformin to prevent miscarriage, and it worked but there were a couple side effects which were rather unpleasant. 

    The worst side effect for me was diarrhea, which apparently is more common with slender women.  I fall into that category.  It lasted for about 2-3 months before this symptom went away.  Not fun!  Another strange side effect was that I developed some food aversions which affected my appetite.  Very similar to the first trimester of pregnancy when cooking smells are repugnant.  The plus side of this SE is that I lost a little weight (before I got pregnant.)

    Now that I have been diagnosed with ER/PR+ BC, I obviously can't take the pill anymore.  I thought that my Gyn would want me back on Metformin, but she advised me to have a hysterectomy instead.  Since I want to take an AI rather than Tamoxifen, I agreed.  But now I'm wondering if I should still take Metformin if it does indeed prevent recurrence.  Since I didn't have chemo, I am open to doing whatever else I have to do to prevent recurrence, so I'm going to ask my MO about it.  Not looking forward to re-experiencing those nasty SE's though!

  • weety
    weety Member Posts: 371
    edited April 2012

    Lintroller and Chocolaterocks, thanks for sharing.  Very interesting info.

  • navymom
    navymom Member Posts: 842
    edited April 2012

    Ditto to what Weety said!

  • AlaskaAngel
    AlaskaAngel Member Posts: 694
    edited April 2012

    ChocolateRocks, and Lintroller Derby,

    It may take some reading to follow the discussion in this DCIS thread about metformin, etc. but my premise basically is this: Patients would probably benefit from having the support of regular evaluations by endocrine specialists trained specifically to deal with glandular issues, including training in glandular cancers. We don't have endocrine specialists currently who are specifically trained to handle cancers of the glands. Endocrinologists see patients for other diseases of the glands such as thyroid imbalances, or pancreatic imbalances, etc. but not cancer. We have no one who sees us to offer either preventive care or crisis care with metabolic imbalances and hormonal imbalances. And the result is that we end up seeing surgeons, radiologists, and medical oncologists instead.

    http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/68/topic/785235?page=1#idx_30

  • mary625
    mary625 Member Posts: 154
    edited April 2012

    My internist gave me Metformin.  He said he was already planning to do so because of probable metabolic syndrome (wink, wink).  Anyway, he has given me the 500 mg. time extended version, one time per day.  I think I read here that in the study, they are taking the regular 500 mg. twice a day.  I asked internist if I could move up to 500 mg. twice a day, and he said that taking the time extended once per day would have the same effect.  Is anyone doing this or know if it's really the same?

    I must say that I feel fantastic since I started Metformin.  I always had a struggle with hypoglycemia for years.  That coupled with having a high birth weight baby and two parents with diabetes (well, I guess you can only have two parents!) put me at high risk for diabetes.  My blood sugar was creeping up.  Now, I am having fewer swings in blood sugar and a bit of decrease in appetite.  I think it's going to be easier for me to diet when the time comes at the end of RADS. 

  • Dianarose
    Dianarose Member Posts: 1,951
    edited April 2012

    I went to see a new MO last week and he knows I do not want chemo, so he suggested Metformin along with the hormone meds. I have been researching this too. I am not sure if he would just prescribe it or want me to be part of the trial. This is round 2 for me with BC so I doubt he meant the trial. My BMX is tomorrow so I am still researching for alternatives to chemo. My BF is a type 1 diabetic so I have someone who can test my sugar levels when needed if it drops. I would take it with food though after watching what he goes through.

  • jenrio
    jenrio Member Posts: 22
    edited April 2012

    Does anyone know where to get the test for insulin receptor?

    thanks,

    jen

  • AlaskaAngel
    AlaskaAngel Member Posts: 694
    edited April 2012

    Dianarose,

    Not all of the trials aren't limited to those who have just been diagnosed.

    Unless you demonstrate some condition that prevents the use of metformin, many medical providers are not reluctant to prescribe it for cancer patients. It is inexpensive and has been used for a long time with very few problems, so they know what the problems are that they need to monitor for.

    While chemo is thought not to be effective in dealing with stem cells, there seems to be some indication that metformin does.

    A.A.

  • Dianarose
    Dianarose Member Posts: 1,951
    edited April 2012

    alaskaAngel- I don't think I would want to be part of a trial and find out after 5 yrs that I had a placebo. I wouldn't mind being a part of a study to help others as long as I was getting the drug though.

    There is so much money to be made off chemo that they don't want to find an alternative, at least that's how I see it. My daughter is an RN in NC and she said the doctors that she works with wouldn't do chemo.

  • AlaskaAngel
    AlaskaAngel Member Posts: 694
    edited April 2012

    I understand.

    In 2002 when I did treatment, there was much less access to information than there is now. There was no Herceptin yet and HER2 testing was not commonly done. Aromatase inhibitors were only prescribed to those with mets. There was no Oncotype Dx. Doctors did not admit that such a thing as chemobrain exists. I did not favor chemotherapy and I did it mostly out of trust and ignorance.

    I am aware that my onc, who is very reputable and hardworking, was not honest about chemotherapy with me.

    I am very sorry I did chemotherapy, and will make other choices if I recur.

    AlaskaAngel

  • madpeacock
    madpeacock Member Posts: 216
    edited April 2012

    I carefully read this entire thread and found it very interesting. I emailed my integrative med doc yesterday and asked if he thought I would benefit from the metformin. He just emailed me this morning and said he would call me in a prescription! So, I guess I'll add another weapon to my arsenal! I fired tamoxifen a month or so ago because of the SEs. I have an appointment with my MO next week, and we'll see what she says about it all. 

    Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experiences!