Researchers have found a connection between insulin and pancreaticcancer, according to findings reported in the Journal of the AmericanMedical Association (December 14, 2005). Although it is known that diabetesand pancreatic cancer are related, the purpose of the study was todetermine whether diabetes is the cause or the result of pancreatic cancer.Using data from the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer PreventionStudy, the researchers detected pancreatic cancer in 169 patients within 5years of follow-up, compared with 400 patients without cancer.
All of the participants were men who smoked and were aged 50 to 69;the group was followed for up to 16.7 years. After factoring in the effectsof age, years of smoking, and body mass index, the researchers found thathigher levels of glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance were associatedwith an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
The results of the study also indicated that patients diagnosed withdiabetes, and those with the highest insulin levels, faced 2 times therisk of developing pancreatic cancer. The researchers noted that furtherinvestigation is needed to understand why the disparities occur sothat they can be corrected.