Genetic studies lead to clinical trial of new treatment for type 1 diabetes | BreakThrough Digest Medical News

Type 1 diabetes is known to be a genetically complex disease ? there is no single gene that causes the disease, but rather dozens of genes that increase the risk of developing the disease. However, genetic studies have identified variants of one particular gene ? known as interleukin-2, or IL2 ? which appears to play a prominent role. IL-2 is important in helping regulate the immune system.
Now, for the first time, researchers at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the Wellcome Trust funded Cambridge Institute for Medical Research (CIMR) at the University of Cambridge are investigating whether interleukin-2 in the form of a drug called aldesleukin (Proleukin) could be used to halt the damage to the pancreas in people with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes and, if so, what dose of the drug is required for the best results.

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