Previous studies have confirmed an association between incretin-based drugs and the risk of bile duct cancer. But whether incretin drugs increase the risk of pancreatic cancer is not clear. The objective of this study is to ascertain the risk of pancreatic cancer associated with the use of incretin-based drugs in patients with type-2 diabetes.

This population-based cohort study included a total of 972,284 patients who had initiated antidiabetic drugs. The risk of pancreatic cancer was determined based on the controls for gender, age, treatment duration, cohort entry date, and follow-up duration. The primary outcome of the study was the incidence of pancreatic cancer measured by hazard ratios.

During a median follow-up of 1.3-2.8 years and 2,024,441 person-years, 1,221 new diagnoses of pancreatic cancer were discovered. The incidence rate of pancreatic cancer was 0.60 per 1,000 person-years. When compared with sulfonylureas– another antidiabetic drug – incretin-based drugs were not associated with a higher risk of pancreatic cancer (hazard ratio 1.02). Also, there was no evidence that demonstrated a relationship between duration and response.

The research concluded that incretin-based drugs were not associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in patients with type-2 diabetes when compared with sulfonylureas.

Ref: https://www.bmj.com/content/352/bmj.i581