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Metformin Hydrochloride as First-Line Therapy in Treating Patients With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Prostate Cancer

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research Identifier:
First received: November 17, 2010
Last updated: April 14, 2016
Last verified: April 2016

RATIONALE: Metformin hydrochloride may make some enzymes active. These enzymes may block other enzymes needed for cell growth and stop the growth of tumor cells.

PURPOSE: This phase II trial is studying the safety of giving metformin hydrochloride as first-line therapy in treating patients with locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer.

Condition Intervention Phase
Prostate Cancer
Drug: metformin hydrochloride
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Metformin in Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer. A Multicenter Phase II Trial.

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Progression-free survival (PFS) [ Time Frame: at 12 weeks ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • PFS [ Time Frame: at 24 weeks ]
  • Clinical benefit rate [ Time Frame: at 12 weeks and 24 weeks ]
  • Time to treatment failure
  • Adverse events
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) response [ Time Frame: (50% and 30%, best and at 12 weeks) ]
  • Changes in PSA doubling time
  • Tumor response of measurable disease according to RECIST v 1.1 criteria
  • Tumor assessment of bone lesions
  • Overall survival

Estimated Enrollment: 44
Study Start Date: December 2010
Estimated Study Completion Date: September 2017
Estimated Primary Completion Date: September 2017 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Metformin Drug: metformin hydrochloride
Metformin Lifelong follow-up at a target dose of 2 x 1000 mg daily Until progression, unacceptable toxicity or refusal
Other Name: Metformin-Mepha

Detailed Description:


  • To determine the activity and safety of metformin hydrochloride as first-line therapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study.

Patients receive oral metformin hydrochloride twice daily on days 1-28. Treatment repeats every 4 weeks in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

Previously collected and post-treatment tumor tissue may be analyzed for PTEN status and PI3kinase-dependent pathway activation via immunohistochemistry. Blood samples may also be collected periodically and analyzed for biomarkers, pharmacogenetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics.

After completion of study therapy, patients are followed up every 3 months.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Histologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the prostate

    • Locally advanced or metastatic disease with no curative therapy possible
  • PSA progression defined as the following:

    • Increase in PSA of ≥ 25% (and an absolute increase of ≥ 2 ng/mL) over nadir value on hormonal therapy measured on 3 successive occasions at least 1 week apart

      • If the third measurement is not higher than the second, a fourth measurement will be taken and only if the fourth measurement is higher than the second, the patient may be enrolled
  • PSA doubling time ≥ 55 days (if used to define progression, must not be older than 6 months)
  • PSA < 114 ng/mL
  • Testosterone level ≤ 1.7 nmol/L (≤ 50 ng/dL) after at least 1 hormonal treatment (orchiectomy or luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone [LHRH] agonist)
  • Patients who have not undergone surgical castration must continue LHRH agonist therapy during study treatment
  • Oligosymptomatic or asymptomatic in relation to disease
  • No known or suspected CNS metastases


  • WHO performance status 0-1
  • Hemoglobin ≥ 90 g/L
  • Neutrophil count ≥ 1.5 x 10^9/L
  • Platelet count ≥ 100 x 10^9/L
  • AST ≤ 2.5 times upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • Bilirubin ≤ 1.5 times ULN
  • Creatinine clearance ≥ 60 mL/min
  • Compliant and geographically proximal for proper staging and follow-up
  • No previous malignancy within the past 2 years except for localized nonmelanoma skin cancer or Ta or Tis bladder cancer
  • No history of diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic coma, or pre-coma
  • No known history of HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C positivity
  • No known hypersensitivity to the trial drug or any of its components
  • No serious underlying medical condition that, in the judgment of the investigator, would impair the ability of the patient to participate in the trial (e.g., uncontrolled or acute severe infection, uncontrolled diabetes, advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], or heart failure)
  • No psychiatric disorder precluding understanding of information on trial related topics, giving informed consent, or interfering with compliance for oral drug intake
  • No known alcohol abuse


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • At least 6 weeks since prior antiandrogen therapy and without withdrawal response
  • At least 30 days since prior treatment in another clinical trial
  • At least 4 weeks since prior major surgery
  • At least 4 weeks since prior products known to affect PSA levels
  • At least 2 weeks since prior local radiation
  • No prior chemotherapy, radioisotopes, small molecules, or immunotherapy for prostate cancer
  • No prior metformin hydrochloride
  • No concurrent pharmacotherapy for diabetes mellitus
  • No concurrent finasteride, dutasteride, ketoconazole, or abiraterone acetate
  • No concurrent corticosteroids with an equivalent dose of > 7.5 mg of prednisolone
  • No concurrent radiotherapy
  • No bisphosphonates started after registration
  • No concurrent drugs contraindicated for use with the trial drug according to the Swissmedic approved product information
  • No other concurrent anticancer drugs
  • No other concurrent experimental or investigational drugs
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01243385

Kantonsspital Aarau
Aarau, Switzerland, CH-5001
Basel, Switzerland, CH-4031
Inselspital Bern
Bern, Switzerland, CH-3010
Kantonsspital Graubuenden
Chur, Switzerland, CH-7000
Kantonsspital Luzern
Luzerne, Switzerland, CH-6000
Kantonsspital - St. Gallen
St. Gallen, Switzerland, CH-9007
Kantonsspital Winterthur
Winterthur, Switzerland, CH-8401
Zurich, Switzerland, 8038
UniversitaetsSpital Zuerich
Zurich, Switzerland, CH-8091
Sponsors and Collaborators
Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research
Study Chair: Christian Rothermundt, MD Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen
Study Chair: Richard Cathomas, MD Kantonsspital Graubuenden
Study Chair: Silke Gillessen, MD Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research Identifier: NCT01243385     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: SAKK 08/09
CDR0000688789 ( Other Identifier: CDR0000688789 )
Study First Received: November 17, 2010
Last Updated: April 14, 2016
Individual Participant Data  
Plan to Share IPD: No

Keywords provided by Swiss Group for Clinical Cancer Research:
adenocarcinoma of the prostate
hormone-resistant prostate cancer
stage III prostate cancer
stage IV prostate cancer
recurrent prostate cancer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Prostatic Neoplasms
Genital Neoplasms, Male
Urogenital Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Genital Diseases, Male
Prostatic Diseases
Hypoglycemic Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on March 29, 2017