Forum of Clinical Oncology | 2021

Antidiabetic drugs and the risk of cancer: beneficial, neutral, or detrimental?



Abstract The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is rapidly rising, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Also, early-onset diabetes is on the rise, and millions of individuals have to be on antidiabetic medications for a prolonged period. Therefore, more people are getting exposed to the adverse effects of antidiabetic medications. Cancer is among the top ranking causes of death worldwide. Researches are still ongoing to understand the etiologies, precipitants, risk factors, correlates, and predictors of cancers. Diabetes mellitus is associated with various cancers, as extensively documented in the literature. There are conflicting reports about the association between antidiabetic drugs and cancer. This is even of crucial importance, considering that the prevalence of diabetes is rising. Insulin glargine is reported to be associated with cancers, but clinical trials have not confirmed this. Metformin is largely believed to be beneficial in oncologic practice. Glibenclamide is reported to reduce tumor growth. The association between pioglitazone and bladder cancer is still an area for further research. Meglitinides have also been associated with cancers. Incretin-based therapy and the α-glucosidase inhibitors appear to have beneficial effects on cancers. There is still a need for randomized multicentric clinical trials to further substantiate and clarify reports from epidemiological studies. Further in vitro studies will also be necessary to characterize the interaction of these pharmacological agents with other molecules in the body.

Volume 12
Pages 74 - 81
DOI 10.2478/fco-2021-0014
Language English
Journal Forum of Clinical Oncology

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