Free content by Fresh Content.net

Friday, September 25

No conclusive evidence linking insulin glargine to higher cancer risk

Medicines regulatory authorities in New Zealand have found no conclusive evidence that the use of insulin glargine is associated with increased risk of developing cancer, saying findings of recent studies may be due to chance.

Insulin glargine (brand name: Lantus) is used once daily for control of diabetes, often in combination with a short acting sulfonylurea or other insulin.

Medsafe and the Medicines Adverse Reactions Committee (MARC) have reviewed the safety of insulin glargine following the publication of four studies which suggested that this insulin may be associated with a higher risk of cancer.

“The MARC concluded that there were significant problems with these studies and could not determine whether there was an increased risk of cancer associated with taking glargine. It is possible the reported findings arose by chance,” said Dr Marius Rademaker, acting chair of MARC.

“The MARC also noted that people with diabetes seem to have a somewhat higher risk of cancer than people without diabetes. This risk may be reduced by appropriate lifestyle changes,” according to Dr Rademaker.

“As a precaution, we advise that until further information becomes available, patients should only use insulin glargine when it has specific benefits for them. Patients currently on glargine are encouraged to discuss this with their GP or specialist and are advised not to change their treatment without medical advice.”

Medsafe Group Manager Dr Stewart Jessamine said patients should report all suspected adverse reactions to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM).