New weight-loss and diabetes medication linked to decrease threat of 10 cancers

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Ozempic is a GLP-1 drug for adults with type 2 diabetes.
Enlarge / Ozempic is a GLP-1 drug for adults with sort 2 diabetes.

For sufferers with sort 2 diabetes, taking one of many new GLP-1 medication, similar to Ozempic, is related to decrease dangers of growing 10 out of 13 obesity-associated cancers as in contrast with taking insulin, in accordance with a current research revealed in JAMA Community Open.

The research was retrospective, capturing knowledge from over 1.6 million sufferers with sort 2 diabetes however no historical past of obesity-associated cancers previous to the research interval. Utilizing digital well being information, researchers had follow-up knowledge for as much as 15 years after the sufferers began taking both a GLP-1 drug, insulin, or metformin between 2008 and 2015.

Such a research cannot show that the GLP-1 medication prompted the decrease related dangers, however the outcomes match with some earlier findings. That features outcomes from one trial that discovered a 32 p.c total decrease threat of obesity-associated cancers following bariatric surgical procedure for weight reduction.

Within the new research, led by researchers at Case Western Reserve College College of Drugs, a number of the GLP-1-associated threat reductions had been fairly substantial. In contrast with sufferers taking insulin, sufferers taking a GLP-1 drug had a 65 p.c decrease related threat of gall bladder most cancers, a 63 p.c decrease related threat of meningioma (a sort of mind tumor), a 59 p.c decrease related threat for pancreatic most cancers, and a 53 p.c decrease related threat of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver most cancers). The researchers additionally discovered decrease related dangers for esophageal most cancers, colorectal most cancers, kidney most cancers, ovarian most cancers, endometrial most cancers, and a number of myeloma.

In contrast with insulin, the researchers noticed no lowered related threat for thyroid and breast cancers. There was a decrease threat of abdomen most cancers calculated, however the discovering was not statistically important.

Gaps and targets

The GLP-1 medication didn’t present such promising outcomes towards metformin within the research. In contrast with sufferers taking metformin, sufferers on GLP-1 medication noticed decrease related dangers of colorectal most cancers, gall bladder most cancers, and meningioma, however these calculations weren’t statistically important. The outcomes additionally unexpectedly indicated a larger threat of kidney most cancers for these taking GLP-1 medication, however the reason for that probably larger threat (which was not seen within the comparability with insulins) is unclear. The researchers known as for extra analysis to research that doable affiliation.

Total, the researchers name for a lot extra research to attempt to verify a hyperlink between GLP-1 medication and decrease most cancers dangers, in addition to research to attempt to perceive the mechanisms behind these potential threat reductions. It is unclear if the decrease dangers could also be pushed merely be weight reduction, or if insulin resistance, blood sugar ranges, or another mechanisms are at play.

The present research had a number of limitations given its retrospective, records-based design. Maybe the largest one is that the information did not enable the researchers to trace particular person sufferers’ weights all through the research interval. As such, researchers could not study related most cancers threat reductions with precise weight reduction. It is yet one more side that warrants additional analysis.

Nonetheless, the research gives one other promising end result for the blockbuster, albeit pricy, medication. The researchers counsel extending their work to evaluate whether or not GLP-1 medication may very well be used to enhance outcomes in sufferers with sort 2 diabetes or weight problems who’re already identified with most cancers, along with understanding if the medication may also help stop the most cancers to start with.