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Pharmacogenetics of Metformin Action in PCOS

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Virginia Commonwealth University Identifier:
First received: June 20, 2008
Last updated: May 27, 2014
Last verified: May 2014
  1. The polycystic ovary syndrome is the major cause of infertility in the United States. Metformin has been shown to increase frequency of ovulations in PCOS, and is used in clinical practice to treat infertility, but some women with PCOS do not respond to metformin treatment.
  2. Knowing that a specific gene predicts the effect of metformin on ovulation would facilitate more efficient and effective treatment of infertility in PCOS.

Condition Intervention
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Drug: Metformin 500 mg tablet

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Endpoint Classification: Pharmacokinetics/Dynamics Study
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Pharmacogenetics of Metformin Action in PCOS

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Virginia Commonwealth University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Determine if ovulations/9months/woman is greater in women with the G/G genotype of STK11 rs8111699 compared with women with the C/G and C/C genotypes. [ Time Frame: 9 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Determine in which genotype(s) frequency of ovulation correlates with improvement in insulin sensitivity and/or reduction in total testosterone. [ Time Frame: 9 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Enrollment: 55
Study Start Date: July 2008
Study Completion Date: March 2014
Primary Completion Date: September 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Metformin
Metformin tablet, 500 mg/tablet, 2 tablets every twelve hours, 9 months duration
Drug: Metformin 500 mg tablet
Metformin 500 mg tablets; two tablets every 12 hours for 9 months
Other Name: Glucophage

Detailed Description:

The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects approximately 6-10% of women of childbearing age, i.e., 3.5-5.5 million women in the United States. PCOS is the most common endocrine disturbance of young women and the major cause (75%) of anovulatory infertility in the United States. We hypothesize that women with the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who have the G/G genotype of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)_ rs8111699 in STK11 will exhibit a significantly greater response to metformin, in terms of ovulation, compared with women with either the C/G or C/C genotype. Specifically, we anticipate the frequency of ovulation (defined by number of ovulations/9 months/subject) to be at least 2-fold higher in women with the G/G STK11 genotype compared with women with either the C/G or C/C genotype.

To test this hypothesis, we will obtain DNA for STK11 genotyping in 36 women with PCOS who are treated with metformin and carefully monitored for ovulation for 9 months. STK11 genotype status will be determined, and the ovulation rates in the G/G, G/C and C/C genotype groups will be compared with one another. Our goal is to identify the genes that predict or modify response to commonly prescribed medications that will allow physicians to better choose among existing therapies and individualize treatment. While metformin has been shown to increase ovulatory frequency in PCOS and is widely used in clinical practice to treat infertility, a substantial number of women either do not respond or are slow to respond to metformin treatment.

Knowing that a specific STK11 genotype predicts the effect of metformin on ovulation would facilitate more efficient and effective treatment of infertility in PCOS.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 45 Years
Genders Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Premenopausal women between 18-45 years of age and BMI less than 42
  • Diagnosed with PCOS as defined by the Rotterdam criteria, which is a combination of any two of the following three criteria: 1) chronic oligo- or amenorrhea (<8 menstrual periods annually); 2) biochemical or clinical androgen excess; and 3) polycystic ovaries on ultrasonography -Normal thyroid function tests and serum prolactin; and exclusion of 21 alpha hydroxylase deficiency by a fasting 17 alpha hydroxyprogesterone less than 200 ng/dl -In acceptable health on the basis of interview, medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests (CBC, SMA20,urinanalysis) -Able to provide signed, witnessed informed consent -Able to comply with study requirements

Exclusion Criteria:

-Diabetes mellitus by fasting glucose or OGTT, or clinically significant pulmonary, cardiac,renal,hepatic,neurologic,psychiatric,infectious,neoplastic and malignant disease (other than non-melanoma skin cancer) -Current use of oral contraceptives; use of fertility drugs within 6 months of study -Current or recent use (within 3 months prior to study entry) of metformin -Documented or suspected recent (within one year)history of drug abuse or alcoholism -Ingestion of any investigational drug within two months prior to study onset.

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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00703508

United States, Virginia
University Of Virginia General Clinical Research Center
Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, 22908
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23298
Sponsors and Collaborators
Virginia Commonwealth University
Principal Investigator: John E. Nestler, M.D. Virginia Commonwealth University
  More Information

Additional Information:
No publications provided

Responsible Party: Virginia Commonwealth University Identifier: NCT00703508     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: VCU IRB HM11153, 2U54HD034449
Study First Received: June 20, 2008
Last Updated: May 27, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by Virginia Commonwealth University:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Adnexal Diseases
Endocrine System Diseases
Genital Diseases, Female
Gonadal Disorders
Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian Diseases
Hypoglycemic Agents
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on February 27, 2015