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Investigation call over insulin glargine cancer risk

The European Association for the Study of Diabetes is calling for an 'urgent' investigation of a possible link between insulin glargine and cancer following data from five studies.

One study, of around 127,000 patients in Germany, suggested the increased risk of cancer appeared to be dose-dependent. Patients given a dose of 10U, insulin glargine increased the risk of cancer by 9% compared with human insulin, while a dose of 50U increased the risk 31%. The studies are published online in Diabetologia.

The EASD stressed GPs should advise patients not to stop using insulin until the link is investigated further.

Manufacturer Sanofi Aventis said the evidence from the different trials was 'inconsistent', and added data from a five year trial showed no evidence of any difference in tumour risk with insulin glargine compared with NPH insulin.

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