Group of anti-diabetic drugs can significantly lower cancer risk in women with type 2 diabetes

December 6, 2013, Cleveland Clinic

A Cleveland Clinic-led study shows that a specific type of diabetes drug can decrease the risk of cancer in female patients with type 2 diabetes by up to 32 percent.

People with type 2 diabetes have a higher rate of and compared to the . This study – published online today by the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism – shows that widely prescribed anti-diabetes drugs can be linked to either an increased or decreased risk of cancer, depending on the type of medication prescribed.

A team of researchers led by Sangeeta Kashyap, M.D., an and associate professor of medicine at Cleveland Clinic's Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute, compared two groups of drugs commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes – insulin sensitizers and insulin secretagogues. Insulin sensitizers lower blood sugar and insulin levels in the body by increasing the muscle, fat and liver's response to insulin. Insulin secretagogues lower blood sugar by stimulating pancreatic beta cells to make more insulin.

"What this study shows us is that using insulin secretagogues to increase insulin production correlates with an increased cancer risk in women with type 2 diabetes," said Kashyap. "By contrast, insulin sensitizers cut insulin levels and can decrease cancer growth. So, clearly, when prescribing anti-diabetic medications, it's important to consider the impact a drug has on fueling cancer growth."

In a retrospective analysis, researchers cross-indexed the electronic health record-based Cleveland Clinic Diabetes Registry (25,613 patients) with the histology-based tumor registry (48,051 cancer occurrences) over an 8-year period (1998–2006). More than 890 incident cancer cases were identified. The two most common cancers were prostate and breast, accounting for more than 25 percent of total cancer cases.

Study results show that the use of insulin sensitizers in with type 2 diabetes was associated with a 21 percent decreased cancer risk compared with insulin secretagogues. Furthermore, the use of a specific insulin sensitizer, thiazolidinedione, was associated with a 32 percent decreased cancer risk in female patients compared with sulphonylurea, an insulin secretagogue. Results showed no significant difference in men.

The findings in this study contribute to existing research in the field on diabetic patients and their increased cancer risk. Further research is needed to examine the impact of oral diabetes therapy on cancer risk and development.

Explore further: No link found between various insulins and breast cancer

Related Stories

No link found between various insulins and breast cancer

September 3, 2013
(HealthDay)—Various types of insulins are not associated with breast cancer risk, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in Diabetes Care.

Cancer prevalence higher with long duration of diabetes

January 24, 2013
(HealthDay)—Patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have a greater prevalence of cancer with longer diabetes duration and with insulin use, according to a study published online Jan. 8 in Diabetes Care.

No increased cancer risk with glargine versus human insulin

August 6, 2013
(HealthDay)—There is no evidence that patients with diabetes who initiate insulin glargine have a higher risk of cancer than similar patients initiating human neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin, according to a study ...

Risk of hospitalized fall injury up for seniors with diabetes

November 20, 2013
(HealthDay)—Older adults with diabetes, especially those treated with insulin, are at increased risk of injurious falls requiring hospitalization, according to a study published online Oct. 15 in Diabetes Care.

Insulin degludec lowers risk of recurrent low blood sugar or has similar risk to insulin glargine

June 18, 2013
Insulin degludec (Tresiba), a new ultra-long-acting insulin, has a similar or reduced risk of recurrent hypoglycemia— low blood sugar— compared with the commercially available insulin glargine, a new meta-analysis study ...

Diabetes linked to lung cancer in postmenopausal women

May 30, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Postmenopausal women with diabetes are at a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer, particularly if they require insulin therapy, according to research published online May 22 in Diabetes Care.

Recommended for you

Genetic discovery may help better identify children at risk for type 1 diabetes

January 17, 2018
Six novel chromosomal regions identified by scientists leading a large, prospective study of children at risk for type 1 diabetes will enable the discovery of more genes that cause the disease and more targets for treating ...

Thirty-year study shows women who breastfeed for six months or more reduce their diabetes risk

January 16, 2018
In a long-term national study, breastfeeding for six months or longer cuts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes nearly in half for women throughout their childbearing years, according to new Kaiser Permanente research published ...

Women who have gestational diabetes in pregnancy are at higher risk of future health issues

January 16, 2018
Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy have a higher than usual risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease in the future, according to new research led by the ...

Diabetes gene found that causes low and high blood sugar levels in the same family

January 15, 2018
A study of families with rare blood sugar conditions has revealed a new gene thought to be critical in the regulation of insulin, the key hormone in diabetes.

Discovery could lead to new therapies for diabetics

January 12, 2018
New research by MDI Biological Laboratory scientist Sandra Rieger, Ph.D., and her team has demonstrated that an enzyme she had previously identified as playing a role in peripheral neuropathy induced by cancer chemotherapy ...

Enzyme shown to regulate inflammation and metabolism in fat tissue

January 11, 2018
The human body has two primary kinds of fat—white fat, which stores excess calories and is associated with obesity, and brown fat, which burns calories in order to produce heat and has garnered interest as a potential means ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.