Synergistic effect of metformin and EGFR-TKI in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer

Haocheng Wang, Xue Yang, Yang Sun, Yanan Li, Ya Dong, Dongfeng Shan, Zhuang Yu


In recent years, the incidence of lung cancer has been increasing, and lung cancer has become the leading cause of cancer-related death. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 85% of all lung cancers. Platinum-containing chemotherapy is the first-line treatment for advanced patients. For patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation, EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (EGFR-TKI) is the best treatment choice. In studies, these patients have initially shown excellent response to EGFR-TKI treatment. However, the median progression-free survival (PFS) of NSCLC patients treated with EGFR-TKI is only 10–12 months, so the problem of drug resistance in treatment needs to be urgently solved. Clinical studies have shown that metformin and EGFR-TKI have synergistic effects in the treatment of NSCLC patients. Additionally, patients who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus, with EGFR mutation have shown synergistic effects. This combination therapy can lead to longer PFS and overall survival (OS). This article reviews the synergistic effect of metformin and EGFR-TKI in the treatment of NSCLC.