Trulicity, Byetta, Victoza, Similar Diabetes Drugs Do Not Appear to Increase Breast Cancer Risks: Study

Although prior research has suggested the side effects of Trulicity, Byetta, Victoza and other similar diabetes drugs may increase the risk of breast cancer, no association was found in a new study released this month.

The medications are part of a widely prescribed class of drugs approved for treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity, known as glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs), which include brand names like Trulicity, Byetta, Bydureon, Victoza, Saxenda, Adlyxin, Ozempic, Rybelsus and Tanzeum.

Some prior clinical trials have suggested users of the medications may be more likely to develop breast cancer, when compared to individuals given a placebo. However, in findings presented virtually at ENDO 2021, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, researchers evaluated whether individuals treated with GLP-1RAs had a higher risk of breast cancer or benign growns, and could not find an association.

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Researchers reviewed 52 randomized controlled clinical trials involving more than 90,000 subjects, and compared GLP-1RAs with non-GLP-1RAs among adults who were overweight and had pre-diabetes or diabetes. The study included a minimum follow-up period of 24 weeks, and looked for breast cancer or benign breast neoplasm diagnoses.

According to the findings, treatment with GLP-1RAs did not face an increased rate of breast cancer, benign or premalignant breast cancers, when compared to patients taking placebo or other diabetes or weight-loss drugs.

Among more than 48,000 patients who took the drugs, 130 developed breast cancer. That compares to the 40,000 control participants given placebos, of which 107 developed breast cancer. Overall, the findings did not indicate taking GLP-1RAs was linked to an increased risk of breast cancer compared to placebo, the researchers concluded.

The findings presented at the conference are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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