Diabetes raises risk for many cancers, but not the common malignant brain tumor. A new study further illuminates the shocking relationship between blood sugar levels and brain tumors and might to make clear how distinctive cancers advance.
At the same time that many cancers are more common amongst those with diabetes, cancerous brain tumors referred to as gliomas are less common amongst these with increased blood sugar and diabetes, a study from The Ohio State University has discovered.
The discovery is built on a previous Ohio State study displaying that high blood sugar appears to diminish an individual’s risk of a noncancerous brain tumor called meningioma. Each study has been led by Judith Schwartzbaum, an associate professor of epidemiology and a researcher in Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. The new glioma study appears within the journal Scientific Reports. According to Schwartzbaum, “Diabetes and elevated blood sugar levels increase the risk of cancer at several sites including the colon, breast and bladder. But in this case, these rare malignant brain tumors are more common among people who have normal levels of blood glucose than those with high blood sugar or diabetes. Our research raises questions that, when answered, will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in glioma development.”
How Blood Sugar Levels And Glioma Are Connected?
Glioma is among the most common forms of cancerous tumors originating within the brain. It starts within the cells that encompass nerve cells and help them perform. The disorder is usually diagnosed during middle age. At present, there’s no remedy that ensures lengthy-time survival, but a number of options are being studied.
The Scientific Reports paper contains data from two big long-term studies. One, called AMORIS, included 528,580 Swedes. The second, Me-Can, consisted of 269,365 Austrians and Swedes. All in all, 812 patients developed gliomas.
Schwartzbaum and the other researchers evaluated data on blood sugar and diabetes and its relationship to subsequent development of brain cancer and determined that those with elevated blood sugar and diabetes had a minimize risk of establishing glioma. She commented, “This really prompts the question, ‘Why is the association between blood glucose levels and brain cancer the opposite of that for several other cancerous tumors?” They soon found out that this relationship is strongest during a year of cancer diagnosis.
Schwartzbaum added, “This may suggest that the tumor itself affects blood glucose levels or that elevated blood sugar or diabetes may paradoxically be associated with a protective factor that reduces brain tumor risk. For example, insulin-like growth factor is associated with glioma recurrence and is found in lower levels in people with diabetes than those who don’t have the disease.”
Studies on restrictive diets and their effect on brain cancer has shown mixed results and more work is required to verify if there may be something concerning the sugar/tumor relationship that can be modified in a way that’s invaluable to brain cancer sufferers.