Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer

  • Saira Burney Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Services Hospital. Lahore, Pakistan
  • Khadija Irfan Department of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Services Hospital. Lahore, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Wasif Saif Tufts Medical Center and Tufts Cancer Center. Boston, MA, USA
  • Faisal Masud King Edward Medical University. Lahore, Pakistan
Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus, Hyperinsulinism, Neoplasms, Pancreatic Neoplasms


Research suggests a possible link between type 2 diabetes and several malignancies. Animal models have shown that hyperinsulinemic state underlying diabetes promotes tumor formation through stimulation of insulin-IGF-1 pathway; a possible role of inflammation is also proposed. One such link which has been under considerable study for years is that between diabetes and pancreatic cancer. Although epidemiological evidence points towards a reciprocal link between the two, the cause-effect relationship still remains unclear. This link was the subject of a large German epidemiological study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting 2014 (Abstract #1604), which underscored the link between diabetes and some cancers. Schmidt et al. performed a retrospective database analysis over a 12 year period and reported an increased risk of certain types of cancer in diabetic patients. The most significant association (HR 2.17) was found for pancreatic cancer. Given the high mortality of pancreatic cancer, prevention through timely screening could play an important role in improving prognosis. Older subjects with recent-onset diabetes represent a high-risk group and hence are potential targets for pancreatic cancer screening thereby enabling its early diagnosis at a curable stage.

Image: Services Hospital logo. Lahore, Pakistan.


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How to Cite
BurneyS., IrfanK., SaifM., & MasudF. (2014). Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer. JOP. Journal of the Pancreas, 15(4), 319-321. https://doi.org/10.6092/1590-8577/2680
Highlights from the “50th ASCO Annual Meeting 2014”. Chicago, IL, USA. May 30 - June 3, 2014

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