Radiosensitising Effects of Metformin Added to Concomitant Chemoradiotherapy with Cisplatin in Cervical Cancer

Beduk Esen C., Gedik M., CANPINAR H., YEDEKÇİ F. Y., YILDIZ F. B., GÜNAYDIN G., ...More

Clinical Oncology, vol.35, no.11, pp.744-755, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.clon.2023.08.007
  • Journal Name: Clinical Oncology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.744-755
  • Keywords: AMPK, cervical cancer, cisplatin, ionising radiation, metformin, radiosensitivity
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Aims: The role of metformin on the radiosensitising effect of cisplatin is not clear. Here we investigated the radiosensitising effect of metformin alone and combined with cisplatin in HeLa cells, as well as the implications of the adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway on the radiosensitising effect. Materials and methods: HeLa cells were treated with ionising radiation, metformin, cisplatin, A769662 (AMPK activator) and dorsomorphin (AMPK inhibitor) or in combination. A cell proliferation assay, Western blot and flow cytometry were carried out. Results: Metformin potentiated cisplatin cytotoxicity when administered 4 h before ionising radiation. Although the radiosensitising effects of metformin and cisplatin alone were observed, which is more apparent at high ionising radiation doses, the metformin–cisplatin combination did not increase the radiosensitivity of cisplatin at any ionising radiation dose. Dorsomorphin alone significantly decreased cell proliferation and potentiated the radiosensitising effects of cisplatin with ionising radiation. Administration of A769662 24 h prior to cisplatin treatment resulted in an increased AMPK level that yielded resistance to cisplatin, but this effect was not observed in HeLa cells concomitantly treated with A769662 and cisplatin. Conclusions: Modulation of AMPK may have a role in cervical cancer treatment. Increased AMPK levels result in higher sensitivity to ionising radiation but causes resistance to cisplatin. Dorsomorphin is proven to be a potent radiosensitising agent. The use of metformin alone may be an option as a radiosensitiser during high-dose ionising radiation (e.g. intracavitary brachytherapy).