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Commonly used medications for type 2 diabetes and obesity called glucagon like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs), are not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, despite previous studies that suggested a possible link, according to a study presented virtually at ENDO 2021, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting.

“GLP-1RAs can be used as adjunct to diet and exercise in subjects with type 2 diabetes and those without type 2 diabetes and excess weight, without an increased risk of breast cancer or noncancerous masses in the breast, stroke aricept ” said lead researcher Giovana Fagundes Piccoli, M.D., of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.

GLP-1 RAs have been shown to be effective in treating obesity and type 2 diabetes and in reducing heart disease. These drugs include albiglutide (Tanzeum); dulaglutide (Trulicity); exenatide (Byetta); extended-release exenatide (Bydureon); liraglutide (Victoza, Saxenda); lixisenatide (Adlyxin); and semaglutide (Ozempic, Rybelsus). In clinical trials of liraglutide, subjects treated with the active drug instead of a placebo had a higher number of breast cancers. The new study was designed to assess whether patients treated with GLP-1 RAs had a higher risk of breast cancer or benign growths in the breasts called neoplasms.

Piccoli reviewed 52 randomized controlled trials that compared GLP-1 RAs with non-GLP-1 RAs (either other diabetes or weight-loss drugs or placebos) in adults with overweight, obesity, prediabetes or diabetes. The studies had a minimum follow-up period of 24 weeks and reported at least one event of breast cancer or benign breast neoplasm. They included a total of 90,360 participants.

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