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Diabetes Metab J. 2014 Oct;38(5):330-6. doi: 10.4093/dmj.2014.38.5.330.

Hyperglycemia as a risk factor for cancer progression.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology School of Life Sciences, Ulsan, Korea.
Touchstone Diabetes Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Cell Biology and Simmons Cancer, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.


As the prevalence of diabetes mellitus is substantially increasing worldwide, associated diseases such as renal failure, cardiovascular diseases, fatty liver, and cancers have also increased. A number of cancers such as pancreatic, liver, breast, and female reproductive cancers have shown an increased prevalence and a higher mortality rate in diabetic patients compared to healthy subjects. Thus, this suggests an association between diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes and cancer incidence and progression. Recent studies have suggested that hyperinsulinemia, chronic inflammation and hyperglycemia, all frequently seen in diabetics, may lead to increased tumor growth; the underlying molecular mechanisms of this association are not fully understood. In particular, chronic hyperglycemic episodes could serve as a direct or indirect mediator of the increase in tumor cell growth. Here, we will discuss our current understanding how hyperglycemia and cancer risk may be linked, and what the implications are for the treatment of diabetic cancer patients.


Cancer risk; Diabetes; Hyperglycemia; Therapeutics

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