Incretins are metabolic hormones that promote a decrease in blood glucose levels, thus, being an effective treatment option for patients with type-w diabetes. However, some evidence suggests that incretin-based drugs may be associated with cholangiocarcinoma, a type of cancer that forms in the bile ducts. The objective of this study is to determine the use of incretin-based drugs: dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, with the risk of cholangiocarcinoma in patients with type-2 diabetes.

This is a population-based cohort study that included a total of 154,162 adult patients with type-2 diabetes who were newly treated with antidiabetic drugs. Out of the participants, those who received DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists were evaluated, with the primary outcome being the risk of cholangiocarcinoma. 

During the follow-up of 614,274 person-years, a total of 105 cholangiocarcinoma events occurred. The use of DPP-4 inhibitors was associated with a 77% increased risk of cholangiocarcinoma (HR 1.77). The hazard ratio with the use of GLP-1 receptor agonists was 1.97.

The research concluded that the use of incretin-based antidiabetic drugs, like DPP-4 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists, was associated with an increased risk of cholangiocarcinoma in patients with type-2 diabetes.

Ref: https://www.bmj.com/content/363/bmj.k4880