Personalised therapy reduces cancer risk for diabetes patients

November 8, 2016
Personalised therapy reduces cancer risk for diabetes patients
Personalised therapy reduces cancer risk for diabetes patients. Credit: Medical University of Vienna

The links between Type 2 diabetes and cancer are complex: people suffering from diabetes mellitus essentially have a higher risk of developing cancer but, on top of that, some diabetes drugs are also suspected of increasing the risk in some cases. However, scientists at the Department of Medicine III and the Section for Science of Complex Systems at MedUni Vienna have demonstrated that these risks can now be practically eliminated by using optimised, personalised therapy.

"Cancer and share common risk factors such as being overweight, smoking, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, insulin resistance, inflammatory and hormonal changes and, on top of that, poorly controlled diabetes with levels can increase the cancer risk," explains Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, MedUni Vienna expert in gender medicine and diabetes. A total of around 600,000 Austrians suffer from (Type 2 diabetes).

In a study published in the renowned Journal of Internal Medicine, Stefan Thurner and Peter Klimek from the Section for Science of Complex Systems and Kautzky-Willer were able to show that the risk can be eliminated using targeted precision medicine. And also that concomitant treatment with statins (which are mainly used to reduce cholesterol in metabolic disorders) are even associated with a reduced cancer risk and that the commonest and most widely used , metformin, displays consistently reduced risks – that also applies to the insulin sensitiser "pioglitazone" used in drug treatment to increase insulin sensitivity and hence counteract

The research setting: A statistical survey was compiled of 1.85 million Austrians who had been in hospital at least once. Around 300,000 of these had Type 2 diabetes – they were treated with a total of around 300 different combinations of diabetes drugs (incretin-based therapies and SGLT-2 inhibitors were not yet involved at this time). The results of the study: Primary insulin-stimulating drugs (sulphonylurea and insulin), displayed a significantly higher cancer risk than insulin inhibitors, especially in the case of pancreatic cancer in men and women, liver cancer in men and lymphoma in women – and this effect was significant in both men and women. "However, if statins are taken at the same time, this risk is massively reduced, even down to zero as compared with non-diabetic patients," says Kautzky-Willer.

"This shows that it is possible to optimise individual treatments to substantially reduce the general for diabetes patients. In today's precision medicine, we have a wide selection of drugs available to us and possible combination treatments that would make this possible," adds Klimek.

Explore further: Statins offset insulin-related cancer risk in T2DM

More information: A. Kautzky-Willer et al. Use of statins offsets insulin-related cancer risk, Journal of Internal Medicine (2016). DOI: 10.1111/joim.12567

Related Stories

Statins offset insulin-related cancer risk in T2DM

October 26, 2016

(HealthDay)—For patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), use of statins offsets insulin-related cancer risks, according to research published online Oct. 21 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Gender of growing importance in diabetes studies

July 20, 2016

The international guidelines for the management of type 2 diabetes consider such factors such as age, social environment, the duration of the illness and associated health complaints. But gender is not included. This is becoming ...

Women are more prone to hypoglycaemia than men

June 27, 2012

Just how important a gender-specific perspective and the personalised treatment of illnesses are between men and women is being demonstrated by two current studies at the MedUni Vienna, which are being led by Alexandra Kautzky-Willer ...

Gender-based differences in glycemic control in T2DM

May 26, 2015

(HealthDay)—For patients with type 2 diabetes, there are gender-based differences in glycemic control and hypoglycemia after insulin treatment, according to research published in the June issue of Diabetes, Obesity and ...

Obesity increases risk of developing cancer

May 12, 2015

Cancer is more likely to develop in people who are very overweight (obese), because surplus body fat interferes with various hormone cycles and with glucose and fat metabolism. On the occasion of European Obesity Day this ...

Recommended for you

Diabetes app forecasts blood sugar levels

April 27, 2017

Columbia University researchers have developed a personalized algorithm that predicts the impact of particular foods on an individual's blood sugar levels. The algorithm has been integrated into an app, Glucoracle, that will ...

New blood test may better predict gestational diabetes

April 27, 2017

A new study led by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital has found that a single measurement of plasma glycated CD59 (GCD59), a novel biomarker for diabetes, at weeks 24-28 of gestation identified, with high sensitivity ...

Post-biotics may help shield obese from diabetes

April 20, 2017

You've heard of pre-biotics and pro-biotics, but now you'll be hearing a lot more about post-biotics. Researchers at McMaster University have begun to identify how post-biotics, or the by-products of bacteria, lower blood ...

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.