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Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and non-small cell lung cancer survival



Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are a relatively new class of antidiabetic drugs with demonstrated renal and cardiovascular disease benefit. This study evaluates the role of SGLT2 inhibitors on the survival of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.


We used National Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare linked data. Twenty four thousand nine hundred fifteen NSCLC patients newly diagnosed between 2014 and 2017 with pre-exiting diabetes and aged 66 years or older were included and followed to the end of 2019. Information on SGLT2 inhibitors use was extracted from the Medicare Part D file.


SGLT2 inhibitor use was associated with significantly reduced mortality risk after adjusting for potential confounders (HR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.60–0.77) with stronger association for longer duration of use (HR = 0.54, 85% CI = 0.44–0.68). Further, we found that SGLT2 inhibitor use was associated with a significant reduced risk of mortality regardless of patients’ demographic, tumour characteristics and cancer treatments.


Our large SEER-Medicare linked data study indicates that SGLT2 inhibitors use was associated with improved overall survival of NSCLC patients with pre-existing diabetes. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings and elucidate the possible mechanisms behind the association.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2: Forest plot of association between sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor use and mortality by covariates.

Data availability

Data were available from the SEER-Medicare website ( on reasonable request.


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This study is supported by the National Institutes of Health (R03CA256238).

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Authors and Affiliations



JL: Conceptualisation, methodology, formal analysis, writing–original draft and writing-review and editing. MH: Conceptualisation, methodology and writing-review and editing. YD: Conceptualisation and writing-review and editing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Juhua Luo.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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The study was reviewed and approved by the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) Office of Research Compliance—Indiana University, Protocol #: 2012984604.

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Luo, J., Hendryx, M. & Dong, Y. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors and non-small cell lung cancer survival. Br J Cancer (2023).

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