ADMET Random control trial to evaluate the prognostic and metabolic benefits of metformin during androgen deprivation therapy in metastatic prostate cancer

Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) is used to treat recurrent prostate cancer in men who fail first line therapy. Unfortunately, ADT offers a temporary remission and understanding how tumours evade treatment is critical. ADT induces metabolic syndrome including high insulin blood levels associated with poor prognosis; however, men on ADT are not treated for metabolic dysfunction as part of cancer management. An existing toolbox of drugs used to treat diabetes and lower insulin levels may have therapeutic benefit preventing insulin-induced cancer progression. This study will evaluate the benefit of co-administering ADT with a re-purposed metabolic drug, metformin, and uniquely survey biomarkers from isolated Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs) during treatment.

The aim of this project is to evaluate the effect of metformin in a longitudinal study of advanced metastatic prostate cancer patients undergoing ADT, monitoring metabolic response and candidate androgen, molecular, and metabolic signatures within CTCs. The goals of this project are to:

  • rationalise the treatment of hyperinsulinaemia, which develops as a result of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in men with advanced metastatic prostate cancer, and
  • identify novel prognostic biomarkers isolated from circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in this context which indicate treatment response or resistance in men treated with ADT with or without metformin.


Colleen Nelson APCRC-Q, IHBI, QUT, TRI
Brett Hollier APCRC-Q, IHBI, QUT, TRI
Jennifer Gunter APCRC-Q, IHBI, QUT, TRI
Simon Wood APCRC-Q, Princess Alexandra Hospital
Ken Ho Centres for Health Research, Princess Alexandra Hospital & University of Queensland


2014 - 2017