Metformin Neo-adjuvant Temozolomide and Hypo- Accelerated Radiotherapy Followed by Adjuvant TMZ in Patients With GBM

  • End date
    Dec 13, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    McGill University Health Centre/Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
Updated on 13 March 2021
neutrophil count
complete resection
brain tumor
contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging
beam radiation
renal function test


Glioblastoma Multiforme is one of the most common, and unfortunately one of the most aggressive brain tumors in adults with most of the patients recurring and dying of the disease with a median survival of 16 months from diagnosis.

Current treatment for patients with newly diagnosed Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is safe maximal surgical resection followed by concomitant conventional Radiotherapy (RT) delivered in 6 weeks + Temozolomide (TMZ) followed by TMZ for 6 to 12 cycles.

Recent scientific research has shown that Metformin, a common drug used to treat diabetes mellitus, may improve the results of the treatment in patients with a variety of cancers, such as breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Metformin is an attractive and safe medication to be used in this group of patients because of its very low toxicity.

In our center the investigators have been using TMZ for 2 weeks prior to a short course (4 weeks) of RT which equivalent to the standard RT of 6 weeks. Temozolomide is used 2 weeks before RT + TMZ, and this is followed by the 6 to 12 cycles of TMZ. Our results are quiet encouraging with a median survival of 20 months, and acceptable toxicity.


Metformin, a drug with a very safe toxicity profile, is an attractive molecule to be tested in patients with newly diagnosed GBM in a phase I clinical trial. This is based on its potential to inhibit the proliferation of GBM CSCs through its mechanism of action which is similar to IR and TMZ. Metformin, IR, and TMZ stimulate AMPK leading to the subsequent inhibition of cellular proliferation. Therefore, it is hypothesized that the addition of Metformin to concomitant IR and TMZ may increase the efficiency of IR and TMZ, which are currently considered as the standard of care for patients with GBM. In addition, Metformin lowers blood glucose levels, and subsequently reduces the insulin and Insulin-Growth-factors which are growth-promoting factors with a direct impact on GBM cellular proliferation and invasion.

Metformin may improve the outcomes of patients with GBM when added to current treatment consisting of maximal safe surgical resection followed by neo-adjuvant TMZ and concomitant accelerated hypofractionated limited-margin XRT followed by adjuvant TMZ. Our Neuro-Oncology group at McGill University reviewed the results of an ongoing Phase II study in patients with GBM. A group of 33 patients were treated according to protocol, and with a median follow-up of 11 months, the median survival was 17.5 months which compares favourably to current results from standard treatment with a beneficial 2-week shortening of the XRT treatment time.

This is a phase II clinical trial to assess the feasibility and overall toxicity of adding Metformin to Neoadjuvant Temozolomide followed by concomitant Temozolomide and accelerated hypofractionated limited-margin radiotherapy and followed by adjuvant Temozolomide in patients with newly diagnosed GBM.

It is expected that the proposed study treatment will improve the median survival from current values of 20 months (current MUHC Neo-adjuvant Phase 2 data) to 25 months. This means an improved outcome of 25%. Using one-tailed statistics, and with a power of 0.8 and an alpha of 0.05, the sample size for this Phase II trial will be 50 patients.

Condition Glioblastoma Multiforme, glioblastoma
Treatment Metformin
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02780024
SponsorMcGill University Health Centre/Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
Last Modified on13 March 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age: 18 years or older
Histological confirmation of supra-tentorial GBM
KPS > 60
Neurological function 0 or 1
Adequate bone marrow as defined below
Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) 1500 cells/mm3. Platelets 100,000 cells/mm3
Hemoglobin 10 g/dl
Adequate renal function, as defined below
Creatinine clearance of >60 ml/min/1.73m2 (using the Cockcroft Gault equation for eGFR) within 14 days prior to study registration
Adequate hepatic function, as defined below
Bilirubin of 1.7 to 18.9 umol/L within 14 days prior to study registration
ALT 3 x normal range within 14 days prior to study registration
Neo-adjuvant TMZ and Metformin to start within 4 weeks of surgery
Concomitant TMZ and Metformin and accelerated Hypofractionated EBRT to start at least 2 weeks after adjuvant TMZ starting date, and no later than five weeks from surgery
Surgical diagnosis/intervention may include: partial or near total resection
Patients must have recovered from the effects of surgery, postoperative infection and other complications before study registration
A diagnostic contrast-enhanced MRI or CT scan of the brain must be performed preoperatively and postoperatively. The postoperative scan must be done within 28 days prior to the initiation of neo-adjuvant TMZ. Preoperative and postoperative scans must be the same type. Patients unable to undergo MR imaging can be enrolled provided preand post-operative contrast-enhanced CT scans are obtained and are of sufficient quality
History/physical examination, including neurologic exam within 14 days prior to study registration
Documentation of steroid doses within 14 days prior to study registration and stable or decreasing steroid dose within 5 days prior to registration
For females of child-bearing potential, negative serum pregnancy test within 72hours prior to starting TMZ and Metformin. Women of childbearing potential and male participants must practice adequate contraception
Adequate tissue specimen for MGMT status analysis
Able to sign an informed study-specific consent

Exclusion Criteria

Diabetic patients both type I and type II
No tissue provided for MGMT promoter methylation status determination
Margin of contrast-enhanced residual mass closer than 15 mm from the optic chiasm or optic nerves
Prior invasive malignancy (except for non-melanoma skin cancer) unless disease free for 3 years
Recurrent or multifocal GBM
Prior chemotherapy or radio-sensitizers for cancers of the head and neck region; prior chemotherapy for a different cancer is allowable
Severe, active co-morbidity, defined as follows
Acute or chronic renal failure
Unstable angina and/or congestive heart failure requiring hospitalization
Transmural myocardial infarction within the last 6 months
Acute bacterial or fungal infection requiring intravenous antibiotics at the time of registration
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease exacerbation or other respiratory illness requiring hospitalization or precluding study therapy at the time of registration
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) based upon current CDC definition
Major medical illnesses or psychiatric impairments that in the investigator's opinion will prevent administration or completion of protocol therapy
Pregnancy or women of childbearing potential and men who are sexually active and not willing/able to use medically acceptable forms of contraception; this exclusion is necessary because the treatment involved in this study may be significantly teratogenic
Pregnant or lactating women, due to possible adverse effects on the developing foetus or infant due to study drug
Prior allergic reaction to Temozolomide or Metformin
Patients treated on any other therapeutic clinical protocols within 30 days prior to study entry or during participation in the study
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