Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

FDA-approved drug may slow beta cell destruction in type 1 diabetes patients

Date:
December 5, 2009
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers suggest that a drug already used to treat autoimmune disorders might also help slow the destruction of insulin-producing cells in patients recently diagnosed with insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes.

New findings by UT Southwestern researchers suggest that a drug already used to treat autoimmune disorders might also help slow the destruction of insulin-producing cells in patients recently diagnosed with insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes.

In type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, cells in the pancreas called beta cells, which produce insulin, are destroyed by an autoimmune process.

Researchers at UT Southwestern and 14 other centers worldwide found that injections of the drug rituximab slowed beta cell destruction in the pancreas of those newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes for at least a year, suggesting a potential treatment option that might improve management and reduce long-term complications of the disease.

Dr. Philip Raskin, professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern and an author of the study appearing online and in the most recent New England Journal of Medicine, called the findings "extremely exciting."

"Our findings in no way suggest that rituximab should be used as a treatment or that it will eliminate the need for daily insulin injections," said Dr. Raskin, principal investigator of the trial's local effort. "This is not a cure for type 1 diabetes.

"The results do, however, provide evidence that B cells play a significant role in type 1 diabetes and that selective suppression of these B cells may deter the destruction of the body's beta cells."

Prior research has shown that two types of immune cells -- B cells and T cells -- help trigger type 1 diabetes. T cells attack and destroy the insulin-producing beta cells. The B cells, however, don't directly attack insulin-producing cells, but researchers have speculated that they trigger the T cells to attack. Rituximab directly attacks and destroys the beta cells.

For the current study, researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind study in which 81 participants received infusions of either rituximab or a placebo once a week for four weeks. The participants, who ranged in age from 8 to 40 years and had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes within 100 days of enrollment in the study, returned approximately every three months for two years to undergo blood tests and meet with a physician. Two-thirds of the 81 participants received the drug.

The scientists found that after one year, the participants who received rituximab needed lower doses of insulin and were able to produce more of their own insulin than those who received the placebo. They also had better control of their blood sugar.

Dr. Raskin said researchers do not think rituximab could ever be used to completely reverse type 1 diabetes because the pancreas typically is too damaged by the time diabetes is diagnosed.

He also said that while the exact mechanism of how rituximab affects type 1 diabetes remains unclear, the study clearly shows that a therapy that targets B cells may improve beta-cell function in early type 1 diabetes.

The next step, Dr. Raskin said, is to evaluate the potential effects of rituximab in diabetes.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study include Dr. Perrin White, professor of pediatrics; Dr. Bryan Dickson, associate professor of pediatrics; Dr. Soumya Adhikari, assistant professor of pediatrics; Dr. Mark Siegelman, associate professor of pathology; Marilyn Alford, senior advanced practice nurse in internal medicine; Tauri Harden, a former advanced practice nurse in internal medicine; Erica Cordova, registered nurse at Parkland Memorial Hospital; and Nenita Torres and Maria Lourdes Pruneda, senior research nurses in internal medicine.

The study is supported by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, the American Diabetes Association and the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group, a clinical trials network funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "FDA-approved drug may slow beta cell destruction in type 1 diabetes patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091204145659.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2009, December 5). FDA-approved drug may slow beta cell destruction in type 1 diabetes patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091204145659.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "FDA-approved drug may slow beta cell destruction in type 1 diabetes patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091204145659.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says he expects revised CDC protocols on Ebola to focus on training, observation and ensuring health care workers are more protected. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins