Additional Benefits of Routine Drugs on Gastrointestinal Cancer: Statins, Metformin, and Proton Pump Inhibitors

Moon Kyung Joo, Jong Jae Park, Hoon Jai Chun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Commonly used medications including statins, metformin, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) effectively reduce the risk of esophageal, gastric, and colorectal cancer (CRC). Summary: A number of observational studies and meta-analyses have shown that long-term statin use significantly reduces the incidence of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer. Moreover, statin use after GI cancer diagnosis has been significantly associated with better prognosis in large-scale cohort studies. Metformin was rigorously evaluated in a population-based study and meta-analysis, and was found to have an unexpected benefit in the prevention and prolonged survival of CRC patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. In contrast, few studies have demonstrated the chemopreventive effect of metformin for esophageal and gastric cancer. Recent observational studies have demonstrated that PPIs effectively reduce the progression of nondysplastic Barrett's esophagus into esophageal adenocarcinoma in a dose-dependent manner. However, the association between chronic PPI use and CRC or gastric cancer risk is still controversial. It was expected that these 3 routinely used medicines would show a synergistic effect with conventional systemic chemotherapy in advanced GI cancers. However, recent phase III studies failed to show significantly better outcomes. Key Messages: Further studies are needed to identify "additional" anticancer effects of these commonly used medicines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalDigestive Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Korea University Grant (grant number: K1700111) and Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (grant number: NRF-2016R1D1A1A02936964).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel. Copyright: All rights reserved.


  • Chemoprevention
  • Metformin
  • Proton pump inhibitor
  • Statin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Additional Benefits of Routine Drugs on Gastrointestinal Cancer: Statins, Metformin, and Proton Pump Inhibitors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this