J Cancer 2020; 11(3):583-591. doi:10.7150/jca.35607

Review

Diabetes and its Potential Impact on Head and Neck Oncogenesis

Xiaofeng Wang1,2, Huiyu Wang1, Tianfu Zhang1, Lu Cai2,3, Enyong Dai5✉, Jinting He4✉

1. Department of Stomatology, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130033, Jilin Province, China
2. Pediatric Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics, The University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40292, USA
3. Departments of Radiation Oncology, Pharmacology, and Toxicology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA
4. Department of Neurology, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130033, Jilin Province, China
5. Department of Oncology and Hematology, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130033, Jilin Province, China

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Citation:
Wang X, Wang H, Zhang T, Cai L, Dai E, He J. Diabetes and its Potential Impact on Head and Neck Oncogenesis. J Cancer 2020; 11(3):583-591. doi:10.7150/jca.35607. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v11p0583.htm

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Abstract

In recent years, the incidence of diabetes mellitus and cancer has increased sharply; indeed, these have become the two most important diseases threatening health and survival. Head and neck (HN) tumors are the sixth most common malignancies in humans. Numerous studies have shown that there are many common risk factors for diabetes mellitus and HN squamous cell carcinoma, including advanced age, poor diet and lifestyle, and environmental factors. However, the mechanism linking the two diseases has not been identified. A number of studies have shown that diabetes affects the development, metastasis, and prognosis of HN cancer, potentially through the associated hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, or chronic inflammation. More recent studies show that metformin, the first-line drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, can significantly reduce the risk of HN tumor development and reduce mortality in diabetic patients. Here, we review recent progress in the study of the relationship between diabetes mellitus and HN carcinogenesis, and its potential mechanisms, in order to provide a scientific basis for the early diagnosis and effective treatment of these diseases.

Keywords: hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, chronic inflammation, immune system dysfunction, metformin