Improved progression free survival for patients with diabetes and locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) using metformin during concurrent chemoradiotherapy

Krista C. J. Wink*, Jose S. A. Belderbos, Edith M. T. Dieleman, Maddalena Rossi, Coen R. N. Rasch, Ronald A. M. Damhuis, Ruud M. A. Houben, Esther G. C. Troost

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background and purpose: The aim was to investigate whether the use of metformin during concurrent chemoradiotherapy (cCRT) for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) improved treatment outcome. Material and methods: A total of 682 patients were included in this retrospective cohort study (59 metformin users, 623 control patients). All received cCRT in one of three participating radiation oncology departments in the Netherlands between January 2008 and January 2013. Primary endpoint was locoregional recurrence free survival (LRFS), secondary endpoints were overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and distant metastasis free survival (DMFS). Results: No significant differences in LRFS or OS were found. Metformin use was associated with an improved DMFS (74% versus 53% at 2 years; p = 0.01) and PFS (58% versus 37% at 2 years and a median PFS of 41 months versus 15 months; p = 0.01). In a multivariate cox-regression analysis, the use of metformin was a statistically significant independent variable for DMFS and PFS (p = 0.02 and 0.03). Conclusions: Metformin use during cCRT is associated with an improved DMFS and PFS for locally advanced NSCLC patients, suggesting that metformin may be a valuable treatment addition in these patients. Evidently, our results merit to be verified in a prospective trial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-459
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • Metformin
  • Diabetes
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy

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