Cancer patients with diabetes could live longer, study shows

17 October 2011

Patients receiving lung cancer treatment who also have pre-existing diabetes may live longer, according to a recent study.

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Trondheim University analysed 1,677 lung cancer cases and found that those with diabetes tended to have a prolonged lifespan compared to those who did not have the condition.

The study, published in the official journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, found that the one, two and three-year survival rates in patients with lung cancer with and without diabetes mellitus were 43 per cent versus 28 per cent, 19 per cent versus 11 per cent and three per cent versus three per cent, respectively.

Researchers did not find a reason for the results of the study but said that their findings would go towards a further research project. They also added that diabetes should not be considered a reason to withhold standard cancer treatment.

"Standard therapy should not be withheld from patients with diabetes mellitus provided they are otherwise fit, even if it may be considered a significant comorbidity," researchers wrote in the study.

By 2025 it is estimated that over four million people will have diabetes, according to Diabetes UK.

Posted by Philip Briggs

Hatlen, Peter, et al., "Prolonged Survival in Patients with Lung Cancer with Diabetes Mellitus", The Journal of Thoracic Oncology, November 2011.


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