GLP-1 receptor agonist as treatment for cancer as well as diabetes: beyond blood glucose control

Expert Rev Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Jul;11(4):357-364. doi: 10.1080/17446651.2016.1191349. Epub 2016 Jun 18.


Recent studies indicate that cancer is a new complication of diabetes. In Japan, cancer is the most critical cause of death in patients with type 2 diabetes. Areas covered: Unlike diabetic angiopathies, diabetes does not accelerate the onset and progression of cancer, even though diabetes and cancer exhibit very similar pathophysiological features including obesity, insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and decreased adipokine imbalance. Agonists to glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor are a newly identified therapy for type 2 diabetes. These drugs exert their effects by enhancing glucose-induced insulin secretion and inhibiting appetite. However, the relationship between GLP-1 receptor agonists and cancer is controversial. Expert commentary: GLP-1 receptor agonist may possess anti-cancer effect in several kind of cancers.

Keywords: GLP-1; cancer; diabetes; hyperinsulinemia; obesity.