In experiments with mice, they found that Gleevec and a similar cancer drug, Sutent, could prevent the onset of type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and is caused by the inability of the body to make insulin. The study shows that this class of drugs could prevent and reverse diabetes in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes.
The lead researcher Jeffrey Bluestone and his team successfully applied the research in mice. Now they are likely to go for human trial. In their experiments, Bluestone’s team found that in mice treated with Gleevec (imatinib) and Sutent (sunitinib) for seven weeks before the onset of type 1 diabetes did not develop the disease long after treatment was stopped.
Lead researcher of the study Jeffrey Bluestone said,
“Although targeted to the Bcr-Abl kinase, Gleevec has been shown to affect related kinases including platelet-derived growth factor potentially involved in various cell types critical to the development and progression of autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes. Moreover, a significant percentage of the animals remain in long-term remission even after discontinuation of the therapy.”
Source: US News