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Psoriasis Drug Helps Diabetics

Nov 8, 2013
Alefacept drug shows insulin secretion…. 

Alefacept, an immune-suppressing drug used for psoriasis treatment, works by attacking T cells including Tem (effector memory) cells and Tcm (central memory) cells.

Tem cells and Tcm cells are also involved in attacking insulin-producing cells in the pancreas in type 1 diabetes. In this study, 49 patients from 14 different US institutions were selected. A total of 33 patients were given alefacept injections weekly for a period of 12 weeks, then a 12 week break, then another weekly dose of the injection for another 12 week. The other 16 patients were given a placebo.

Results showed that 2 hours after eating, there was no difference between the two groups in how well the pancreas was able to secrete insulin. But 4 afters after consuming food, the group prescribed alefacept showed insulin secretion. The placebo group showed a decreased insulin level. Twelve months after receiving treatment, there was no significant increase in insulin between the two groups. Patients who received alefacept reported fewer events of hypoglycemia.

Practice Pearls
  • Insulin secretion 4 hours after eating in patients using alefacept.
  • Tem cells and Tcm cells involved in attacking insulin-producing cells.
  • Alefacept reported to have fever events of hypoglycemia

The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Oct, 2013