Incretins and thiazolidinediones in glucose homeostasis and cancer: role of common polymorphisms

Cancer Lett. 2012 Oct 28;323(2):128-34. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2012.04.002. Epub 2012 Apr 17.


With growing epidemiologic and molecular evidence linking the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus and oncogenesis, the role of anti-diabetic drugs as antineoplastic agents becomes a subject of intense investigation. Several trials are underway assessing the effect of adding metformin to the existing chemotherapy regimen in the treatment of cancers. This review has a focus on other commonly used drugs classified into two broad groups, incretins and thiazolidinediones. The aim of this review is to discuss the common genetic polymorphisms implicated in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (type 2 DM) and how they are linked to molecular pathways involved in carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Incretins / pharmacology*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Thiazolidinediones / pharmacology*


  • Incretins
  • Thiazolidinediones
  • Glucose