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23 September 2011

Do Drugs for Diabetes Actually Cause Pancreatic Cancer?

LOS ANGELES — Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles said they have found a possible link between two newer drugs for Type 2 diabetes and cancers of the pancreas and thyroid, according to a new study published in the journalGastroenterology.
The researchers, at UCLA's Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center, examined incidents reported in the Food and Drug Administration's adverse event database between 2004 and 2009 among patients using Byetta (exenatide), made by Eli Lilly and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, and Merck's Januvia (sitagliptin).
"We undertook these studies because several studies in animal models by several investigators had suggested that this form of therapy may have unintended actions to promote growth of the ducts in the pancreatic gland that convey digestive juices from the pancreas to the gut," study co-author and Hillblom Center director Peter Butler said. "This is a concern if it happens in humans since it might be expected to increase the risk for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. While the FDA database has limitations, it does have advantages in being very large, openly accessible and independent from companies that market the drugs."
Both drugs work by stimulating the hormone glucagon-like peptide 1, or GLP-1. Previous research in rats has shown that enhancing the actions of GLP-1 may increase the rate of formation of cells that line the pancreatic ducts, which could lead to pancreatitis.
Comparing Januvia and Byetta with four others that constituted a control group, the researchers found a six-fold increase in the odds ratio for reported cases of pancreatitis, as well as a nearly threefold increase in the risk of pancreatic cancer. In addition, they found a statistically significant increase in the risk of thyroid cancer among patients taking Byetta, but not among those taking Januvia.

About Dr Kevin Lau
Dr Kevin Lau DC is the founder of Health In Your Hands, a series of tools for Scoliosis prevention and treatment. The set includes his book Your Plan for Natural Scoliosis Prevention and Treatment, a companion Scoliosis Exercises for Prevention and Correction DVD and the innovative new iPhone application ScolioTrack. Dr Kevin Lau D.C. is a graduate in Doctor of Chiropractic from RMIT University in Melbourne Australia and Masters in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health in USA. In 2006 I was awarded the "Best Health-care Provider Awards" by the largest Newspaper publication in Singapore on October 18 2006 as well as being interviewed on Primetime Channel News Asia as well as other TV and Radio. For more information on Dr Kevin Lau, watch his interviews or get a free sneak peek of his book, go to:

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