Metformin and thyroid carcinoma incidence and prognosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis Article

Wang, Z, Luo, J, Zhang, Y et al. (2022). Metformin and thyroid carcinoma incidence and prognosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis . 17(7 July), 10.1371/journal.pone.0271038

cited authors

  • Wang, Z; Luo, J; Zhang, Y; Xun, P; Chen, Z



  • Metformin has been suggested to reduce thyroid cancer incidence and to improve thyroid cancer prognosis. We aimed to evaluate the associations between metformin and thyroid cancer incidence and prognosis (metastasis/recurrence/progression-free survival). Cochrane Library, PubMed,, and U.S. National Library of Medicine Clinical Trials were searched through the end of December 2021. Data were collected from original observational studies or clinical trials on the incidence or prognosis of thyroid carcinoma outcomes in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients with and without metformin use. Risk of bias in non-randomized studies of interventions (ROBINS-I) tool and Grading of Recommendations, and Assessment, Development and Evaluations (GRADE) approach were used to evaluate the risk of bias and quality of the body of evidence, respectively. In general, 4 studies were related to the thyroid cancer incidence, including 1,705,123 participants metformin users and non-users and yielding a total of 3,238 thyroid cancer events; 3 studies reported the prognosis of thyroid carcinoma based on a total of 4,972 individuals with primary thyroid carcinoma and comorbid type 2 diabetes, and the number of thyroid cancer prognosis cases ranged from 3 to 79. The overall risk of bias of the included studies ranged from moderate to serious. In the random-effects model, the summary relative risk (SRR) for thyroid cancer incidence was 0.743 (95% CI: 0.453-1.220; I2 = 88.7%, low certainty) comparing metformin users to non-users; and SRR for the prognosis of thyroid cancer was 0.504 (95% CI: 0.178-1.430; I2 = 57.5%, low certainty). Non-statistically significant negative associations between metformin use and incidence and prognosis of thyroid cancer were found in the current analysis, although the quantity and quality of the evidence were limited. Futher investigation is needed to evaluate the clinical benefits of metformin on thyroid cancer prevention and treatments.

publication date

  • July 1, 2022

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


  • 17


  • 7 July