Widespread medicine for sort 2 diabetes and weight problems don’t enhance breast most cancers threat


Mammograms show a normal breast (left) and a breast with cancer (right). Credit: Public Domain

Commonly used drugs for type 2 diabetes and obesity, called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1-RAs), are not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, despite previous studies suggesting a possible association. This is the result of a virtually presented study at ENDO 2021, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.

“GLP-1RAs can be used as a supplement to diet and exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes and those without type 2 diabetes and being overweight without an increased risk of breast cancer or non-cancerous masses in the breast,” said the lead Researcher Giovana Fagundes Piccoli, MD, of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.

GLP-1 RAs have been shown to be effective in treating obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as reducing heart disease. These drugs include albiglutide (tanzeum); Dulaglutide (Trulicity); Exenatide (Byetta); Extended-release exenatide (Bydureon); Liraglutide (Victoza, Saxenda); Lixisenatide (adlyxin); and Semaglutid (Ozempic, Rybelsus). In clinical trials with liraglutide, subjects treated with the active substance instead of placebo had higher numbers of breast cancers. The new study was designed to investigate whether patients treated with GLP-1 RAs were at higher risk of developing breast cancer or benign growth of the breasts known as 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. The studies had a minimum follow-up of 24 weeks and reported at least one event of breast cancer or benign breast neoplasm. They comprised a total of 90,360 participants.

The analysis found that treatment with GLP-1-RAs was not associated with an increased rate of breast cancer or benign or premalignant breast neoplasms compared to placebo or other diabetes or weight loss drugs. Of 48,267 subjects treated with GLP-1 RAs, 130 developed breast cancer compared with 107 of 40,755 controls.

Semaglutide reduces excess body fat in people with obesity. Provided by The Endocrine Society

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