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Glucagonlike Peptide 1–Based Drugs and Pancreatitis: Clarity at Last, but What About Pancreatic Cancer?  Comment on “Glucagonlike Peptide 1–Based Therapies and Risk of Hospitalization for Acute Pancreatitis in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus”

Belinda Gier, PhD; Peter C. Butler, MD
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(7):539-541. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.3374.
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The worldwide prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is approaching 100 million.1 Most affected individuals are treated for decades. Not surprisingly, the market for drug treatment of T2DM is worth more than $20 billion per year. The most lucrative drugs are those still protected by patent and deemed worthy of selection despite high expense because of clear advantages over cheaper drugs no longer covered by patent protection.

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Figure. Human expression of glucagonlike peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor in healthy tissue and malignant disease. A, Morphological stages in the transition from normal healthy ducts through intermediate premalignant pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) lesions and invasive pancreatic cancer. Modified from Hruban et al.7 B, Corresponding immunohistochemical labeling8,9 of human tissue for GLP-1 receptor (brown) in normal pancreatic ducts, premalignant PanIN lesions, and pancreatic cancer.

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