Longer Acting GLP-1 Receptor Agonists and the Potential for Improved Cardiovascular Outcomes

A Review of Current Literature

Courtney Aavang Tibble; Tricia Santos Cavaiola; Robert R Henry


Expert Rev Endocrinol Metab. 2013;8(3):247-259. 

In This Article

LA-GLP1 RA Effects on the Risk of Medullary Thyroid Cancer

GLP-1 receptors are present in several tissues including the pancreas, intestine, stomach, nervous system and others. In rodent studies, GLP-1 receptors have also been detected on parafollicular thyroid C cells, which are activated with GLP1-RA as evidenced by increased calcitonin secretion. These studies have also shown that long-term activation of the GLP-1 receptor is associated with c-cell proliferation and tumor formation. This effect has not been proven in humans.[64] Studies with LA-GLP1 RA have not routinely followed calcitonin levels, but have not shown significant increases. For example, no significant changes in serum calcitonin levels were seen when measured in the DURATION studies.[15–17,24] Calcitonin levels were not measured during Phase II studies with albiglutide, but will be evaluated in the Phase III HARMONY program.[34] Similarly, data for dulaglutide are unknown.