Impact of diabetes and hyperglycemia on survival in advanced breast cancer patients

Exp Diabetes Res. 2012:2012:732027. doi: 10.1155/2012/732027. Epub 2012 Jul 31.


Purpose: We examined the impact of diabetes and hyperglycemia on cancer-specific survival of patients with metastatic or recurrent breast cancer (BC).

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 265 patients with advanced BC receiving palliative chemotherapy. BC-specific mortality was compared for diabetic and nondiabetic patients as well as for patients that presented hyperglycemia during treatment.

Results: No difference was observed between the diabetic and nondiabetic patients in terms of overall survival (OS). A difference in OS was observed between nondiabetic patients and diabetic patients who had hyperglycemia. The OS was greater in diabetic patients with proper metabolic control than diabetic patients with hyperglycemia. The risk of death was higher in patients with mean glucose levels >130 mg/dL during treatment. Several factors were associated with poor OS: tumor stage, hormone-receptor-negative tumors, HER2 negative disease, multiple metastatic sites, presence of visceral metastases, and mean glucose >130 mg/dL.

Conclusion: Elevated glucose levels are associated with a poor outcome in diabetic and nondiabetic patients in contrast to patients with normoglycemic levels, conferring an elevated risk of death. According to these results, clinicians should monitor glucose levels during treatment for advanced breast cancer disease and take action to maintain normal glucose levels.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Complications / metabolism
  • Diabetes Complications / mortality
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / mortality
  • Drug Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / complications
  • Hyperglycemia / metabolism*
  • Hyperglycemia / mortality
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Palliative Care / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose