Insulin Glargine Users Show No Increased Risk of Cancer Compared with Other Insulin Users

Diabetics are at risk for many complications from the disease, including increased risk of heart disease, vision loss and nerve damage. But taking insulin to help prevent these complications comes with its own set of risks. In a recent French study, however, the new Insulin called “Glargine” is not related to an increase in cancer risks.

The study, which was conducted by Dr. Jean-Paul Fagot and his colleges of the National Health Insurance Fund in Paris, compared type 2 diabetics who used Glargine with other type 2 diabetic patients who used different types of insulin. Fagot said, “We did not find any significant difference in the risk of all cancers, and particularly breast cancer, between new insulin glargine users and nonusers." The study was conducted at the request of the French Medicines Agency which chose to pursue the research because of a "pharmacovigilance signal."

The study extracted information from the health information system from more than 70,000 patients from 2007 to 2009 to complete the data analysis. Nearly 70% of the patients were treated with Glargine alone. After the data were analyzed for hypoglycemic agent use and gender of the patient, researchers found that there was not an increased risk in breast, lung, and liver cancer. Per 100,000 person years, the Glargine users had a rate of 1,622, while those not exposed to Glargine had a rate of 1,643.

Researchers Reassured by Findings

The team was pleased with the results and note that their findings are in line with what previous researchers have found. The report says:

"We think that our study, to our knowledge the largest study to date on glargine and cancer, is therefore reassuring at least for the few years following start of glargine exposure. Compared to previous studies, the mean duration of follow-up is also a little bit higher."


Sources:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/771158
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a600027.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_glargine
Photo Credit:
NASA – Insulin Crystals

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