Navigation Links
Type 1 Diabetes May Have a New Foe
Date:11/25/2009

Rituximab, already used to fight rheumatoid arthritis, could help newly diagnosed diabetics, study finds

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A drug commonly used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis now also shows some promise in helping patients newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

The drug, rituximab (Rituxan), helped patients keep producing some of their own insulin, even though the disease had destroyed some of their pancreatic beta cells, which produce the critical hormone, reports a study in the Nov. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The results were on par with those seen in other studies trying experimental immune therapies for type 1 diabetes, said study lead author Dr. Mark D. Pescovitz, professor of surgery and of microbiology/immunology at Indiana University in Indianapolis.

But the findings have to be interpreted with a "little caution," warned Dr. Vivian Fonseca, professor of internal medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and director of the Diabetes Institute at Scott & White in Temple.

"This paper doesn't appear as if this is a cure for diabetes. Patients did manage to produce more insulin themselves, but it's not a huge amount more. The insulin dose they used was a little bit less but not hugely less," he continued. "Even with this data, we're a long, long way from getting approval for using this kind of treatment. Also, the patients in the study were newly diagnosed so there is virtually no application for people who have had type 1 diabetes for some time."

But needing less outside insulin does have advantages. "We know that people who produce some of their own insulin tend to have less complications in the long term," Fonseca said. Those complications can include blindness and heart trouble, although in no way do researchers yet know if rituximab will reduce those problems in type 1 diabetics over the long-term.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body's own immune system destroys the critical insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.

"People have been trying to change the immune system to treat type 1 diabetes, the rationale being that it's an autoimmune disease where you get antibodies that destroy the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin," Fonseca explained.

Up to now, much research has focused on the immune cells known as T-lymphocytes, the immune cells that attack the pancreas, but there has been increasing speculation that another type of cell, called B-lymphocytes, may also play a role. B cells work a step back in the process, stimulating the T cells to do their damage, Pescovitz explained. Rituximab targets B-lymphocytes.

"This deals with a whole new clinical pathway to try to deal with type 1 diabetes," he said.

In this phase 2 trial, 87 patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes were randomly assigned to receive rituximab infusions or a placebo at one-week intervals for four weeks.

After one year, C-peptide levels -- an indicator of how much insulin is being produced by the body -- were higher in people taking rituximab versus those in the placebo group.

Those in the rituximab group also needed less external insulin and had fewer B cells.

Side effects faded with time, although Pescovitz pointed out that long-term adverse effects from rituximab are not yet known.

It's also not clear if this treatment would be superior to other immunosuppressive strategies, but it is certainly easier to deliver, he said.

"This [B cell] approach is all done as an outpatient basis whereas the [other agents] are done as inpatients," said Pescovitz.

And treatment over only three weeks gave a response that lasted a year, Fonseca noted.

Next, researchers need to determine if additional infusions over time will confer added benefits, and they also plan to look into ways to help the beta cells actually grow back or ways to transplant beta cells.

The study was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and the American Diabetes Association. Genentech and Biogen Idec, which make rituximab, provided the medication for the trial.

More information

There's more on type 1 diabetes at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.



SOURCES: Mark D. Pescovitz, M.D., professor, surgery and microbiology/immunology, Indiana University, Indianapolis; Vivian Fonseca, M.D., professor of internal medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and chief of endocrinology and metabolism and director, Diabetes Institute, Scott & White, Temple; Nov. 26, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Adverse housing conditions contribute to diabetes risk
2. RAND finds cases of undiagnosed diabetes drop sharply
3. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
4. Diabetes appears to increase risk of death for patients with acute coronary syndromes
5. Discovery of sugar sensor in intestine could benefit diabetes
6. Despite overeating, morbidly obese mice gain protection against diabetes
7. Heart Attack Boosts Diabetes Risk
8. Obesity Doesnt Always Equal Diabetes
9. Sugary Sodas High in Diabetes-Linked Compound
10. Treating diabetes during pregnancy can break link to childhood obesity
11. Treating Diabetes During Pregnancy Could Lead to Thinner Kids
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... category by itself - the Vector™ Series Multi-Cook Oven offers up to four ... chamber, featuring exclusive Structured Air Technology™ for unmatched evenness in cooking. Alto-Shaam has ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Author Michèle Wolff has a ... every household and family to know all about it for optimal health. Wanting to ... release of “ Detox, Digestive and Wellness Solutions ” (published by Balboa Press AU). ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... Hanna Boys Center http://www.hannacenter.org ... be the keynote speaker at its second Professional Networking Breakfast on March 9, ... develops comprehensive strategies to create and expand opportunities for boys and young men ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... Individuals ... problems directly related to surgery, treatment, therapy and management. Regular exercise in proper ... qualities of life despite their diseases. On February 23, 2017, 1:00-2:00 p.m. E.S.T., ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... coverage in veterinary medicine, will be launching its first bi-monthly issue of 2017 ... medicine, business and practice management, and One Health. , In making the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... , Feb. 22, 2017  Aytu BioScience, Inc. ... commercialization of novel products in the field of urology, ... to up to 42 account managers from 35 currently, ... The sales force expansion is being driven ... and revenues, an indication of increasing acceptance of Natesto,s ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... , Feb. 22, 2017  CVS Pharmacy is the ... of partially hydrogenated oils (PHO), the primary source of ... exclusive store brands food products. The retailer now offers ... free from artificial trans fats. This comes a year and ... deadline of June 2018 for processed foods to be ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... , Feb 22, 2017 Nordic Nanovector ... commercialisation of novel targeted therapeutics for haematological cancers, will announce its ... February 2017. ... presentation by Nordic Nanovector,s senior management team will take place at ... 45, 0250 Oslo Meeting Room: NYLAND The presentation will ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: