Anti-Diabetic Drugs: Cure or Risk Factors for Cancer?

  • Jeny Laskar
  • Kasturi Bhattacharjee
  • Mahuya Sengupta
  • Yashmin Choudhury


Anti-diabetic drugs are an important group of therapeutics used worldwide. Different anti-diabetic drugs lower blood glucose level by different mechanisms. In recent years, numerous investigations have been performed based on both comparative and cohort studies, in order to establish the relationship between anti-diabetic pharmacotherapy and cancer incidence as well as mortality due to cancer. Some anti-diabetic drugs have been found to exhibit anti-cancer activity while others might increase the risk for cancer. The underlying cause for this disparity is likely to be the varying mechanisms of action of these drugs in controlling blood glucose level. This review discusses the various carcinogenic and/or anti-cancer effects of commonly used anti-diabetic drugs. The information is vital in view of the fact that diabetes mellitus is a commonly occurring disease with a rising incidence rate.


Anti- cancer effect Anti-diabetic drugs Cancer risk 



This study was funded by grant with sanction no. BT/567/NE/U-Excel/2016 dated 31st March, 2017, from DBT, Government of India to Yashmin Choudhury. Jeny Laskar was provided Maulana Azad National Fellowship (MANF) by the University Grants Commission, Government of India. The authors acknowledge the Department of Biotechnology, Assam University, Silchar for providing necessary facilities.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest



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Copyright information

© Arányi Lajos Foundation 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyAssam UniversitySilcharIndia

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