WEDNESDAY, Nov. 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The senolytic agent dasatinib, which is often used to treat tumors and malignant tissue, has beneficial effects among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Omid Salaami, M.D., from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine outcomes after one year for a strongly senolytic tyrosine kinase inhibitor, dasatinib, compared with a weakly senolytic tyrosine kinase inhibitor, imatinib, in older patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (16 and 32 patients, respectively).

The researchers found that dasatinib-treated patients had a 43.7-mg/dL mean reduction in serum glucose concentration relative to imatinib and needed 28.8 fewer total daily insulin units, with a 4.8-kg relative weight loss (5.3 percent of total body weight). The relative difference in weight accounted for 19.2 percent of the decrease in blood glucose (8.4 of the 43.7 mg/dL decrease). Patients treated with dasatinib had a mean 0.80 absolute-point decrease in hemoglobin A1c relative to imatinib, and they required 18.2 fewer total daily insulin units, with a decrease of 5.9 kg in relative weight loss (6.3 percent of total body weight). “Our findings suggest that dasatinib or related senolytic drugs may become novel diabetic therapies. Future studies are needed to determine whether these findings can be translated to patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus but without underlying malignant disease,” the authors write.

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Patents on senolytic drugs are held by Mayo Clinic, which is where the study patients were located.

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