Navigation Links
Metformin May Lower Diabetics' Odds for Pancreatic Cancer
Date:8/2/2009

But another study finding suggests insulin treatment could boost the risk

SUNDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Metformin, one of the most widely used diabetes drugs, may offer patients the added benefit of lowering their odds for pancreatic cancer by 60 percent, a new study shows.

But the study had a downside: Other common treatments, including the use of insulin or insulin-releasing medications such as sulfonylureas, seemed to boost diabetics' risk for the deadly malignancy.

"We have been long interested in the association between diabetes and pancreatic cancer," explained study lead author Donghui Li, a professor in the department of gastrointestinal medical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "It's a very complicated association because pancreatic cancer can cause diabetes, while on the other hand diabetics have a higher risk for pancreatic cancer. So it's been quite controversial, and the question is: What can we do to reduce this risk?"

"So here we found that if people use metformin they have a 60 percent lower risk for pancreatic cancer than those who have diabetes but never used metformin," Li said. "And that's quite a dramatic effect. And so far it's the only thing that we've seen that can reduce the risk for pancreatic cancer so much."

Li and her colleagues will publish their findings in the August issue of Gastroenterology.

Metformin is an extremely popular oral medication commonly prescribed for patients coping with type 2 diabetes. It goes by its generic name as well as brand names such as Glucophage, Riomet, Fortamet, Glumetza, Obimet, Dianben and Diabex.

Although there are several other treatment options available, the American Diabetes Association recommends metformin as a first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 34,000 people die of pancreatic cancer each year. Even when detected early, the five-year survival from the disease is about 33 percent.

The current finding is based on an analysis of 973 pancreatic cancer patients (259 of whom were diabetic) and 863 non-cancer patients (109 of whom were diabetic), all of whom received care at M.D. Anderson between 2004 and 2008.

The researchers found that diabetics who had ever taken metformin as a treatment for their condition cut their risk for pancreatic cancer by 60 percent, compared to those who had never taken the drug. The risk reduction was particularly apparent among diabetics who had taken metformin for five years or more, they noted.

Being a smoker, overweight or obese, or having glycemic control issues did not appear to impact the protective relationship between metformin and pancreatic cancer risk, Li and her team observed.

On the other hand, the researchers found that diabetic patients who had taken insulin as a treatment were nearly five times more prone to developing pancreatic cancer than patients who had never taken insulin. Similarly, those who took insulin secretagogues (insulin-releasing drugs such as sulfonylureas or glinides) had more than double the risk of pancreatic cancer than those who had not.

"Because the individuals we looked at who used metformin were comparable in most ways with those who did not, we have confidence in terms of the influential role metformin specifically had on reducing pancreatic risk," Li noted. "And because there is already a general recommendation to use this drug, our finding adds even more of an incentive. Because this drug appears to have a tremendous health impact, and because we have so few tools to use to fight against pancreatic cancer at this point," she added.

"Of course our observation needs to be confirmed with further research with other patient pools," she cautioned. "But hopefully while we're doing that we can find some biomarker to identify higher risk for pancreatic cancer in general among diabetics."

For his part, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, described the findings as "interesting" and "significant."

"It does need to be looked at in a larger population, as the authors note," he said. "But meanwhile I think there are two things here worth discussing. One is obviously that there seems to be a reduction in pancreatic cancer among metformin users. But the other issue is the suggestion -- which is not a finding, but a suggestion -- that people on insulin actually have an increased risk for pancreatic cancer."

"Now on this second point it has to be said that people on insulin are generally people who are also overweight and obese," Lichtenfeld stressed. "And that in and of itself is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. So there are a lot of other interactions in there that could possibly explain the findings. And they need to be explored."

More information

There's more on the causes and treatment of diabetes at the American Diabetes Association.



SOURCES: Donghui Li, Ph.D., professor, department of gastrointestinal medical oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., FACP, deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; August 2009 Gastroenterology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. FDA Approves ACTOplus met(R) XR (pioglitazone HCl and metformin HCl extended-release) Tablets for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes
2. Metformin increases pathologic complete response rates in breast cancer patients with diabetes
3. Data from Pooled Analyses Demonstrates Welchol, Combined with Metformin- or Sulfonylurea-Based Therapy, Significantly Lowers Blood Glucose in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
4. Smart for Life(TM) and THINADVENTURE(TM) Sponsor Brandon Flowers Youth Sports Camp
5. Study: Bariatric surgery patients have 67 percent lower chance of complications at top hospitals
6. CIGNA Whistleblower Calls for More Heath Insurance Accountability in Heath Care Reform
7. ChristianPF.com Offers Four Tips to Lower Prescription Drug Costs
8. Teamwork, Technology, and Coordinated Care Improve Outcomes and Lower Costs
9. Ochsner Health System Relies on Trend Micro Enterprise Security for Immediate Protection and Lower Complexity
10. Exposure to Common Pollutant in Womb Might Lower IQ
11. Compirion Healthcare Sponsors Webinar on 7 Mistakes That Lower Patient Satisfaction Scores
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Metformin May Lower Diabetics' Odds for Pancreatic Cancer
(Date:1/15/2017)... ... January 15, 2017 , ... ... is a program that strives to better communities around the world by offering ... It also provides the opportunity for team members to become involved in a ...
(Date:1/15/2017)... ... January 15, 2017 , ... San Francisco Magazine recently ... Area counties for 2017. Almost 1,000 nominations were submitted and a little over ... Results were announced the magazine’s January 2017 issue . , Under the ...
(Date:1/14/2017)... ... January 14, 2017 , ... Healthy ... expanding line of activated charcoal products. With more and more people opting to ... products according to how they cater to specific needs. , Moody Zook focused ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 13, 2017 , ... ... that raise blood sugar levels. Counting carbohydrates is as easy as checking the ... only nutrient that affects blood sugar levels. Despite being sugar-free, proteins can influence ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 13, 2017 , ... ... Moody Zook has taken on the challenge of providing additional organic alternatives for ... During the launch of the brand’s new line of all-natural activated charcoal products, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/16/2017)... 16, 2017 Transparency Market Research states ... Devices Market  held a huge share of 43% in 2015. ... frontrunners in the overall market, grabbing the undivided attention of ... across geographies, and strong product portfolio is expected to keep ... ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... , Jan. 16, 2017  Dovetail Genomics today announced ... and assembly service, which yields chromosome-scale genome assemblies. The ... a Dovetail-hosted workshop on Jan. 17 at the Plant ... San Diego . "We are thrilled ... launch of our Dovetail Hi-C offering," said Todd ...
(Date:1/16/2017)... 2017  Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CPIX) is pleased ... , CFA to its Board of Directors. He is ... Asset Management LLC . He is also the Chief ... investment advisory firm with over $1.5 billion under management. ... in security analysis and portfolio management. He began his ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: