A drug used to treat skin disorders may also help patients suffering from diabetes type 1, according to a new study published in the journal of Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. Type 1 diabetes affects nearly 400,000 people in the United Kingdom. All the patients are unable to produce desired levels of insulin necessary to control and regulate blood glucose in the body.
This was a small clinical trial conducted in US but more study is needed to confirm its protective effects on beta cells.
Alefacept was commonly used for the treatment of patients with psoriasis but later in 2011 it was withdrawn from the market.
There is one similarity between psoriasis and diabetes as both these are autoimmune disorders. During this study 45 patients were enrolled.
Table 1: Showing information about participants and Alefacept/Placebo schduling
|Group||Drug name||Participants||12 weeks||Next 12 weeks||Next 12 weeks|
|First group||Alefacept||33||Durg continued||Break period||Drug continued|
|Second group||Placebo||16||Continued||Break period||Continued|
Researchers observed significant increased in the levels of beta cells of group one when compared with group two.
“Although the primary endpoint was not met, several key secondary endpoints were significantly different between treatment groups, suggesting that alefacept might preserve pancreas cell function during the first 12 months after diagnosis.”
Writing about the study in The Lancet, Dr Kevan Herold, of Yale University, said: “It is important to underscore these small successes since, as in other fields such as oncology and infectious diseases, the small achievements acquire greater significance when they are combined.”
“The results of this study appear worthy of further exploration. Small steps forward such as this take us closer to a world without type 1 diabetes.
“It is a challenging and complex condition. But type 1 diabetes will one day be cured. It’s a matter of time, money and excellent research.”
Reference: Prof Mark R Rigby MD a , Prof Linda A DiMeglio MD a, Marc S Rendell MD b, Prof Eric IFelner MD c, Prof Jean M Dostou MD d,Prof Stephen E Gitelman MD e, Chetanbabu M Patel MD f, Prof Kurt J Griffin MD f, Prof Eva Tsalikian MD g, Prof Peter A GottliebMD h, Carla J Greenbaum MD i, Nicole A Sherry MD j, Wayne V Moore MD k, Roshanak Monzavi MD l, Steven M Willi MD m, ProfPhilip Raskin MD n, Prof Antoinette Moran MD o, Prof William E Russell MD p, Ashley Pinckney MS q, Lynette Keyes-Elstein DrPH q,Michael Howell PhD r, Sudeepta Aggarwal PhD r, Noha Lim PhD r, Deborah Phippard PhD r, Gerald T Nepom MD i, James McNamaraMD s, Mario R Ehlers MBChB t. Targeting of memory T cells with alefacept in new-onset type 1 diabetes (T1DAL study): 12 month results of a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial. Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 2013. doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(13)70111-6
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