Is Lantus Insulin Linked to Increased Risk of Cancer? New Study Begins

December 17, 2009

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Recently published studies suggested that insulin glargine (a synthetic insulin preparation marketed under the trade name Lantus), may be associated with a higher risk of certain cancers than other insulins or oral glucose lowering medications. However, these studies were unable to control for important factors such as obesity that may have driven the association.

Another large randomized trial designed to examine another aspect of diabetes care, which used insulin glargine, showed no increase in the frequency of cancer with glargine.

To better understand the results of these studies, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced that scientists  will be coordinating a large, multi-site retrospective study on insulin users with type 2 diabetes. The study is designed to determine if diabetic patients exposed to insulin glargine (Lantus) have a higher incidence of cancer than diabetic patients exposed to other insulins or to other glucose-lowering medications.

The study plans to analyze data from about 400,000 people with diabetes, determine their use of diabetes treatments including insulin, and document the incidence of cancer.

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