The Obesity Paradox: Metformin for Diabetes and Lung Cancer?


“These findings suggest a strong sensitization by the addition of metformin in obese population, suggesting that biochemical and molecular differences influence the treatment response.”


BUFFALO, NY- November 15, 2023 – A new editorial paper was published in Oncotarget's Volume 14 on March 31, 2023, entitled, “Obesity paradox and lung cancer, metformin-based therapeutic opportunity?


In their recent editorial, researchers Pedro Barrios-Bernal, Norma Hernández-Pedro, Luis Lara-Mejía, and Oscar Arrieta from Instituto Nacional de Cancerología discuss obesity, diabetes and lung cancer. Obesity is a complex multifactorial disease with detrimental effects on health. This disease induces a proinflammatory state, innate and adaptative immune system dysfunction, and immune exhaustion, which in conjunction promote cancer growth. 


Although obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have been associated with lung cancer (LC) development, several confounding factors, such as chronic inflammation, high insulin levels, microbiome, as well as the oncogenic potential of growth and sexual hormones, have introduced uncertainty and avoid the full recognition of this relationship [1, 2]. Thus, therapies that can bring potential therapeutic effects to both comorbidities are being tested globally and their effect on cancer cells.


“Altogether, there is a strong relationship between high BMI and increase survival in different LC stages and in combination with some anticancer therapies. Metformin has been shown to be a metabolism modifier that may adapt signaling pathways and immune sensitivity in tumor microenvironment.”


Read the full paper: DOI: https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.28432 


Correspondence to: Oscar Arrieta


Email: [email protected] 


Keywords: metformin, tyrosine-kinase inhibitors, BMI, EGFR, obesity paradox

About Oncotarget: Oncotarget (a primarily oncology-focused, peer-reviewed, open-access journal) aims to maximize research impact through insightful peer-review; eliminate borders between specialties by linking different fields of oncology, cancer research and biomedical sciences; and foster application of basic and clinical science.


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