An association between Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonists (GLP1-RA) and risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer has been suggested. Since its first description, several new trials (including three cardiovascular outcome trials) have been published, substantially increasing the available data set. This suggests the need for an update of the previous meta analysis.
A Medline search for GLP-1 receptor agonists (exenatide, liraglutide, lixisenatide, albiglutide, dulaglutide, or semaglutide) was performed, collecting all randomized clinical trials, with duration ≥52 weeks, enrolling patients with type 2 diabetes, and comparing a GLP-1 receptor agonist with placebo or any other non-GLP-1 receptor agonist drug. The endpoints were pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer reported as serious adverse events. Mantel-Haenszel odds ratio (MH-OR) with 95% Confidence Interval (95% CI) was calculated for all outcomes defined above, on an intention-to-treat basis.
A total of 43 trials fulfilling inclusion criteria (all reporting data on pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer) was identified. GLP-1 RA showed no association with pancreatitis (MH-OR 1.24 [0.94, 1.64]; p=0,13) and pancreatic cancer (MH-OR 1.28 [0.87, 1.89]; p=0,20).
No clear evidence of risk for pancreatitis was observed, whereas data on pancreatic cancer are too scarce to draw any conclusion.