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Pancreatology. 2010;10(4):423-8. doi: 10.1159/000264676. Epub 2010 Aug 19.

Diabetes mellitus in pancreatic cancer and the need for diagnosis of asymptomatic disease.

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Department of Surgery, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Pancreatic cancer is strongly associated with the development of hyperglycemia, peripheral insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus, especially when presented as new-onset diabetes mellitus. Peripheral insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia have been suggested to promote growth of pancreatic cancer cells, and therefore a relation between long-standing diabetes mellitus type 2 and pancreatic cancer has been implied. Epidemiological studies, though, give incongruent results to this problem. There are data supporting a tumor-derived influence on glucose metabolism, insulin secretion and eventually the development of diabetes mellitus in early stages of pancreatic cancer. The only possibility for curative intent in pancreatic cancer is to diagnose the disease before symptoms occur. Patients with newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus type 2 or hyperglycemia as a risk group have been recommended for primary screening for pancreatic cancer. To date, there is no specific biomarker to identify patients with an asymptomatic pancreatic cancer. The review discuss the relationship between pancreatic cancer and diabetes mellitus and the possibility of secondary screening of patients with newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus type 2 or hyperglycemia in an artificial neural network. PubMed was searched for articles using the Mesh term 'pancreatic neoplasms' combined with 'insulin resistance' and 'glucose metabolism disorders'. Additional articles were retrieved through hyperlinks and by manually searching reference lists in original published articles. In total 36 articles were systematically reviewed. and IAP.

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