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Pioglitazone and bladder cancer risk

Many general practices in the UK will have patients using the only remaining available PPAR-gamma agonist, pioglitazone, and so an independently funded study by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes is welcome. This study used a complex analysis to examine the effect of exposure to this drug on bladder cancer incidence. Based on a large observational analysis, the study authors concluded that the use of pioglitazone was not associated with an increased incidence of bladder cancer.

by Colin Kenny, GP, Dromore

The European Association for the Study of Diabetes commissioned this study from the Scottish Diabetes Research Network Epidemiology Group and the Diabetes and Cancer Research Consortium. The collaborators examined prescription, cancer and mortality data from people with type 2 diabetes in six populations across the world. The researchers observed that some of the existing data were contradictory and based on short time observations and that long-term data were needed.

The group collated data on 1.01 million persons over 5.9 million person-years. There were 3248 cases of incident bladder cancer, with 117 exposed cases, and a median follow-up duration of 4.0–7.4 years. Overall, the group found no evidence for any association between cumulative exposure to pioglitazone and bladder cancer in men or women after adjustment for age, diabetes duration and smoking.

 

To access the full publication, click here

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