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Journal of OncologyVolume 2012 2012, Article ID 928127, 12 pages

Review Article

Division of Gynecology Oncology, Department of Women’s Health Services, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI 48202, USA

Departments of Pathology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA

Received 1 December 2011; Accepted 5 March 2012

Academic Editor: Pierre Savagner

Copyright © 2012 Ramandeep Rattan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Metastasis is an intricate process by which a small number of cancer cells from the primary tumor site undergo numerous alterations, which enables them to form secondary tumors at another and often multiple sites in the host. Transition of a cancer cell from epithelial to mesenchymal phenotype is thought to be the first step in the progression of metastasis. Recently, the recognition of cancer stem cells has added to the perplexity in understanding metastasis, as studies suggest cancer stem cells to be the originators of metastasis. All current and investigative drugs have been unable to prevent or reverse metastasis, as a result of which most metastatic cancers are incurable. A potential drug that can be considered is metformin, an oral hypoglycemic drug. In this review we discuss the potential of metformin in targeting both epithelial to mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cells in combating cancer metastases.

Author: Ramandeep Rattan, Rouba Ali Fehmi, and Adnan Munkarah



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