AACE Issues Statement on Antidiabetic Drugs and Cancer Risk

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) concluded that insufficient evidence exists to support a definitive link between anti-hyperglycemic medications and cancer development, according to its diabetes and cancer consensus statement paper.

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The AACE statement was developed after growing concerns about the possible link between diabetes, obesity, anti-hyperglycemics, and an increased prevalence of various cancers. A task force analyzed and evaluated the possible roles of obesity, hyperinsulinemia, glucose, and diabetes and its therapies in the origin and development of cancer in order to provide practical recommendations to healthcare professionals.  

The paper recommends physicians to continue prescribing FDA-approved anti-hyperglycemics for the treatment of hyperglycemia. Other key highlights from the consensus statement include:

  • Physicians should exercise caution when prescribing anti-hyperglycemic medications implicated in the promotion of specific cancers to those with elevated cancer risks
  • Cancer screening and counseling on lifestyle changes should be a part of regular preventive care in people with obesity and/or diabetes
  • Recent prospective studies do not confirm that exogenously administered insulin may amplify the cancer development process
  • Larger-scale randomized studies are necessary to advance any plausible evidence linking cancer risks to diabetes, obesity, and anti-hyperglycemics

The AACE’s consensus is in line with the recent European Medicines Agency and the FDA that the data on anti-hyperglycemics is not sufficient enough to make a definitive link and there is no need to modify the safety labeling about potential risks.

For more information call (904) 353-7878 or visit AACE.com