The Influence of Diabetes Mellitus and Metformin on Distant Metastases in Oropharyngeal Cancer: A Multicenter Study


A group of doctors found that local control of oropharyngeal cancer, which appears in the oropharynx, the middle part of the throat that includes the base of the tongue, the tonsils, the soft palate, and the walls of the pharynx is possible. The cancer has improved to unprecedented rates with combined modality therapy. However, as a result, distant metastases, appearance of the cancer in distant organs from the primary organ with cancer, are becoming a principal challenge. The study aimed to determine the impact of diabetes mellitus and metformin use on clinical outcomes in a large population of oropharyngeal cancer patients.

Diabetic patients not using metformin independently have significantly higher rates of distant metastases than do nondiabetic patients. However, those patients who were administered metformin, an oral medication for blood sugar control, have rates of distant metastases similar to those of nondiabetic patients. Further research is needed to study any additional benefits of metformin in oropharyngeal cancer.

The full study can be found here.