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February 3, 2010

Does Insulin Therapy Promote, Reduce, or Have a Neutral Effect on Cancers?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Medicine and Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

JAMA. 2010;303(5):446-447. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.60

Because up to 10% of adults have diabetes and because a substantial proportion will ultimately be prescribed insulin, reports that insulin therapies may be associated with cancer are of significant concern.1,2 This Commentary highlights limitations of the literature and notes that the evidence is also consistent with the hypothesis that insulin therapy targeting good glycemic control might actually reduce cancers.