Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Diabetologia. 2009 Dec;52(12):2507-12. doi: 10.1007/s00125-009-1568-4. Epub 2009 Oct 17.

No evidence of increased risk of malignancies in patients with diabetes treated with insulin detemir: a meta-analysis.

Author information

Novo Nordisk, Novo Alle 1, 2880, Bagsvaerd, Denmark.



Recent epidemiological studies suggest that treatment with insulin glargine (A21Gly,B31Arg,B32Arg human insulin) may promote cancer growth. The present meta-analysis was performed to assess the risk of cancer during treatment with insulin detemir (B29Lys(epsilon-tetradecanoyl),desB30 human insulin), another long-acting insulin analogue.


This meta-analysis was performed in a population of 8,693 patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, who were included in Novo Nordisk-sponsored, randomised and controlled diabetes trials of at least 12 weeks in duration that compared insulin detemir with NPH insulin or insulin glargine. In a blinded manner, the adverse events with suspected treatment-emergent malignant tumours were obtained from these studies under three system-organ classes: 'Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (including cysts and polyps)', 'Neoplasm' and 'Surgical and medical procedures'. Conditional ORs were estimated applying both the Mantel-Haenzel and Peto methods to ensure robustness of results.


Separate analyses were performed for trials comparing insulin detemir with NPH insulin and insulin detemir with insulin glargine. In the first analysis, 16 studies were included with a total of 3,983 patients treated with insulin detemir and 2,661 patients treated with NPH insulin. In the second analysis, five studies were included with a total of 1,219 patients treated with insulin detemir and 830 patients treated with insulin glargine. The estimated OR for a cancer diagnosis between NPH insulin and insulin detemir was statistically significantly >1, with the ratio favouring insulin detemir. There was a more than twofold higher cancer occurrence in the NPH insulin-treated population. For the insulin detemir comparison with insulin glargine, there was a non-significant difference in ORs in favour of insulin detemir.


In these randomised controlled diabetes trials, patients treated with insulin detemir had a lower or similar occurrence of a cancer diagnosis compared with patients treated with NPH insulin or insulin glargine, respectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center