People with Type 2 diabetes who are taking a new class of so-called incretin-based drugs — including the recently developed Januvia — can rest easy. New research shows they are not linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
In a new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Canadian researchers who tracked the health records of almost 1 million patients with Types 2 diabetes found the drugs posed no serious increased cancer risks, Medical Xpress
"Our study provides some reassurance that the use of incretin-based drugs is not associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer," said researcher Dr. Laurent Azoulay of the Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital and Associate Professor of Oncology at McGill University in Montreal. "However, because pancreatic cancer develops over many years, it will be necessary to re-assess this association in the future."
Incretin-based drugs are widely used to treat diabetes, but past studies have raised concerns that they may stimulate pancreatic duct cells in a way that might lead to pancreatic cancer. But the latest study — the largest study conducted to date — puts those fears to rest.
According to Dr. Pierre Ernst, senior author on this study and professor of medicine at McGill University, the study demonstrates the importance of being able to access health data collected for administrative purposes while assuring that individual patients cannot be identified.
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