NCI Drug Dictionary

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The NCI Drug Dictionary contains technical definitions and synonyms for drugs/agents used to treat patients with cancer or conditions related to cancer. Each drug entry includes links to check for clinical trials listed in NCI's List of Cancer Clinical Trials.

metformin hydrochloride
The hydrochloride salt of the biguanide metformin with antihyperglycemic and potential antineoplastic activities. Metformin inhibits complex I (NADPH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase) of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, thereby increasing the cellular AMP to ATP ratio and leading to activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and regulating AMPK-mediated transcription of target genes. This eventually prevents hepatic gluconeogenesis, enhances insulin sensitivity and fatty acid oxidation and ultimately leads to a decrease in glucose levels. Metformin may exert antineoplastic effects through AMPK-mediated or AMPK-independent inhibition of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), which is up-regulated in many cancer tissues. Furthermore, this agent also inhibits tumor cell migration and invasion by inhibiting matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) expression which is mediated through the suppression of transcription activator protein-1 (AP-1) activation. Check for active clinical trials using this agent. (NCI Thesaurus)
US brand names:Fortamet
Glucophage
Glumetza
Chemical structures:1,1-dimethylbiguanide hydrochloride
N,N-dimethylimidodicarbonimidic diamide monohydrochloride