Common Drugs for T2D and Obesity Do Not Increase Breast Cancer Risk: Study
Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists are the commonly used medications for type 2 diabetes and obesity. In a recent study presented virtually at ENDO 2021, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting, researchers have reported that this commonly used medication is not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, despite previous study findings that suggested a possible link.
Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) remained major public health issues in the developed nations, and their incidence is on the rise in the developing countries, attributed mainly to a considerable shift in dietary practices. GLP-1 RAs have been shown to be effective in treating obesity and type 2 diabetes and in reducing heart disease. However, in a previous study on liraglutide, subjects treated with the active drug instead of a placebo had a higher number of breast cancers. To further evaluate these findings, Dr Giovana Fagundes Piccoli, M.D., of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, and his team conducted a study to assess whether patients treated with GLP-1 RAs had a higher risk of breast cancer or benign growths in the breasts called neoplasms.
Piccoli reviewed 52 randomized controlled trials that compared GLP-1 RAs with non-GLP-1 RAs (either other diabetes or weight-loss drugs or placebos) in adults with overweight, obesity, prediabetes or diabetes. They included a total of 90,360 participants. They included studies that had a minimum follow-up period of 24 weeks and reported at least one event of breast cancer or benign breast neoplasm.
Among 48,267 subjects treated with GLP-1 RAs, the researchers noted that 130 developed breast cancer, compared to 107 of 40,755 controls.
Upon analysis, they found that the treatment with GLP-1 RAs was not associated with increased rates of breast cancer or benign or premalignant breast neoplasms, compared to placebo or other diabetes or weight-loss drugs.
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