Survival Reduced for Patients With Cancer Who Have Diabetes

Type of cancer and diabetes treatment influence survival

THURSDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with cancer generally have reduced survival if they also have type 2 diabetes, although this depends on the type of cancer and diabetes treatment, according to a study published online Jan. 20 in Diabetes Care.

Craig J. Currie, Ph.D., from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined survival in 112,408 patients newly diagnosed with cancer, of whom 7.5 percent also had type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that diabetes was associated with overall higher cancer mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 1.09) but depended on the type of cancer, with greater mortality in patients with breast (HR, 1.32) and prostate (HR, 1.19) cancer but a lower mortality in patients with lung cancer (HR, 0.84). Compared with patients who did not have diabetes, mortality was higher in patients with diabetes treated with sulfonylureas or insulin alone (HR, 1.13 for each) but lower in patients treated with metformin alone (HR, 0.85).

"This study confirmed that type 2 diabetes was associated with poorer prognosis after incident cancer, but that the association varied according to diabetes therapy and cancer site," Currie and colleagues write. "Metformin was associated with survival benefit both in comparison with other treatments for diabetes and in comparison with a nondiabetic population."

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies.

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