Metformin may reduce the risk of cancer, but more research is needed

This systematic review looked at the relationship between oral antidiabetic drugs and the risk of cancer. Clinical question: In type 2 diabetes, does treatment with metformin or sulphonylurea affect the risk of cancer? The evidence: The reviewers found 17 observational studies reporting 37,632 cases of cancer.  When they pooled the data from these studies they [read the full story…]

Metformin may be associated with a reduced risk of liver cancer in type 2 diabetes

Several recent studies have suggested unexpected benefits of metformin.  This prompted a slew of meta-analyses looking for evidence of benefit in preventing cancer.  This evidence needs to be interpreted with caution; this latest review, looking at liver cancer, is a case in point. Clinical question: In type 2 diabetes, does metformin prevent liver cancer? The [read the full story…]

Insulin treatment may be associated with an increased risk of cancer

This systematic review looked at observational studies of a link between treatment with insulin, whether type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and the incidence of cancer of any type. Clinical question: In people with diabetes, is treatment with insulin, as compared to other treatment, associated with an increased risk of cancer? The evidence The reviewers [read the full story…]

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Unclear evidence on whether metformin reduces the risk of cancer in type 2 diabetes

Previous observational studies have suggested that use of metformin is associated with a reduction in the risk of cancer. This systematic review set out to clarify this question by incorporating the findings of recent trials. Clinical question: In people with type 2 diabetes taking metformin, what is the risk of cancer of any type? The [read the full story…]

Diabetes is associated with an increased incidence of cancer

A cancer cell

A systematic review of observational studies has been published in Endocrine Practice that concludes diabetes is associated with a small but signficant increased risk of cancer. Clinical question: In people with diabetes, what is the incidence of cancer compared to people without diabetes? The evidence The reviewers searched Medline and the Cochrane Library for relevant [read the full story…]

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Review: Diabetes is associated with a significantly increased risk of colorectal cancer

Clinical question Is diabetes a risk factor for colorectal cancer? The Evidence The reviewers found 24 studies in Medline and EMBASE.  They combined the data from these studies to estimate out the relative risk of colorectal cancer in people with diabetes compared with people without diabetes. They found that people with diabetes had a significantly [read the full story…]

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In type 2 diabetes, use of metformin was associated with lower incidence of colorectal cancer.

The chemical structure of metformin

Laboratory research has suggested that metformin may inhibit cancer cell growth.  If it does, we would expect people treated with metformin to have a lower rate of cancer. This systematic review combined the data from five observational studies of patients with type 2 diabetes and studied the relationship between their use of metformin and incidence [read the full story…]

Diabetes and gastric cancer: more evidence needed

A number of possible links between diabetes and cancer have been suggested in recent years.  This systematic review looked for observational studies reporting gastric cancer in association with diabetes. The reviewers extracted data from 21 observational studies found by searching MEDLINE, EMBASE and reference lists.  They found no statistically significant link between diabetes and gastic [read the full story…]

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