Berger and Xu Find GLP-1 RAs Effective in Treating Cancer

GLP-1 RAs aren't just for diabetes or weight loss anymore. They might also be effective in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer, thanks to a new study by Nathan Berger, member of Case CCC's Population and Cancer Prevention Program, and Rong Xu, member of the Cancer Genomics and Epigenomics Program.

The article, GLP-1 Receptor Agonists and Colorectal Cancer Risk in Drug-Naive Patients With Type 2 Diabetes, With and Without Overweight/Obesity, published in the Dec. 7, 2023, Journal of JAMA Oncology, indicates findings that support the need for clinical trials and eventually may also show promise in warding off other types of cancer associated with obesity and diabetes.

“Our results clearly demonstrate that GLP-1 RAs are significantly more effective than popular anti-diabetic drugs, such as Metformin or insulin, at preventing the development of CRC,” Berger said.

Rong Xu, co-PI, said, “To our knowledge, this is the first indication this popular weight-loss and anti-diabetic class of drugs reduces incidence of CRC, relative to other anti-diabetic agents.”

First authors on the article are Lindsay Wang, a former YES/SEO student and a current freshman at CWRU, and William Wang, also a graduate of the NCI- and Case CCC-supported YES/SEO program.

Read More in JAMA Oncology