Diabetes, insulin and cancer risk The molecular role of insulin signaling and hyperinsulinemia in cancer development and progression in diabetes patients
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The relationship between diabetes and the risk for cancer development seems to be more and more confirmed. An important link between these two is the hyperinsulinemia found both in patients with T1DM and patients with T2DM. T1DM patients cannot produce insulin anymore and are therefore dependent on insulin administration via injections. This causes an abnormal, evenly distributed insulin concentration throughout the body; for tissues that normally receive low amounts of insulin, insulin administration can lead to hyperinsulinemia. T2DM patients have a reduced responsiveness to insulin, the β-cells in the pancreas try to compromise for this by producing more, which results in hyperinsulinemia. (Vigneri et al., 2009). Hyperinsulinemia can lead to an increased risk for cancer formation. In this literature study the molecular aspects of the relationship between cancer risk and hyperinsulinemia will be reviewed, to clearly overview to what extent a malfunctioning in the insulin system can lead to cancer formation.