In a new study from Mayo Clinic, researchers found dasatinib, a drug that often is used to treat certain types of leukemia, may have antidiabetic effects comparable to medications used to treat diabetes.
With more research, it may become a novel therapy for diabetic patients.
Dasatinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor used to treat tumors and malignant tissue, as well as chronic myelogenous leukemia.
In the study, the team wanted to know if dasatinib also has antidiabetic properties for older patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Using a Mayo Clinic database with more than 9 million case histories spanning 25 years, they determined it may have an antidiabetic effect comparable to or perhaps greater than current medications used to treat type 2 diabetes.
Dasatinib lowers serum glucose in patients with pre-existing type 2 diabetes to a greater degree than imatinib and comparable to first-line diabetic medications such as metformin and sulfonylureas.
The findings suggest that dasatinib or related senolytic drugs may become diabetic therapies.
More study is needed to determine whether these findings also are observed in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus but without underlying malignant disease.
Future work also needs to see if the effectiveness of combining dasatinib with another senolytic drug such as quercetin is greater than with dasatinib alone.
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The study is published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. One author of the study is Robert Pignolo, M.D., Ph.D.
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