ADA: No Cancer Risk with Lantus (CME/CE, with video)
trial -- a randomized controlled trial that followed patients for about 6 years -- showed no increase in cancer risk with insulin glargine compared with no insulin use.
Concern about insulin glargine and cancer risk started with a series of publications in 2009 that found a potential link between cancer, particularly breast cancer, and the agent, but researchers have noted some methodological limitations with those findings.
So these three groups have been seeking to clarify the relationship between one of the most commonly used insulins and cancer.
In the Northern European Study of Insulin and Cancer, Boyle and colleagues looked at data from 447,821 diabetes patients on insulin with about 1.5 million person-years of observation and 17,800 new cases of cancer.
The average follow-up was 3.1 years for those on insulin glargine and 3.5 years for those on other insulin.
Boyle and colleagues found no difference in risk of breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer between those on insulin glargine and those on NPH insulin, nor was there any risk of all cancers overall, he said.
In exploratory analyses, the researchers also saw no increases in lung or pancreatic cancers, Boyle said.
He added that his group also conducted a recent meta-analysis of 21 previous studies investigating the insulin-cancer link, and found no increased risk of cancer with the agent.
Buse and colleagues assessed data from the Inovalon (formerly MedAssurant) database, looking at 43,306 glargine patients and 9,147 NPH patients who'd been on treatment for a mean of 1.2 and 1.1 years, respectively.
They also found no increased risk of any specific cancer -- breast, prostate, or colorectal -- and no overall increased risk of cancer.
Buse said that in a subanalysis of data for those who'd used insulin for at least 24 months, there was no increased risk of breast cancer, though he cautioned that the numbers used in the analysis -- 14 breast cancer cases -- were very small.