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Can Existing Drugs Approved for Other Indications Retard Renal Function Decline in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes and Nephropathy?

  • Alessandro Doria
    Correspondence
    Address reprint requests to Alessandro Doria, MD, PhD, MPH, Section on Genetics and Epidemiology, Joslin Diabetes Center, One Joslin Pl, Boston, MA 02215
    Affiliations
    Section on Genetics and Epidemiology, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Massachusetts

    Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
    Search for articles by this author
  • Monika A. Niewczas
    Affiliations
    Section on Genetics and Epidemiology, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Massachusetts

    Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
    Search for articles by this author
  • Paolo Fiorina
    Correspondence
    Paolo Fiorina, MD PhD, Transplantation Research Center, Nephrology Division, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Ave, Enders 5th floor, Room En530, Boston, MA 02215
    Affiliations
    Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

    Transplantation Research Center, Nephrology Division, Children's Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy
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      Summary

      Mounting evidence from human, animal, and in vitro studies indicates that existing drugs, developed to treat other disorders, also might be effective in preventing or slowing the progression of diabetic nephropathy to end-stage renal disease. Examples of such drugs include the urate-lowering agent allopurinol, the anti–tumor necrosis factor agents etanercept and infliximab, and the immunomodulating drug abatacept. Because some of these medications are already on the market and have been used for a number of years for other indications, they can be tested immediately in human beings for a beneficial effect on renal function in diabetes. Special emphasis should be placed on evaluating the use of these drugs early in the course of diabetic nephropathy when renal damage is most likely to be reversible and interventions can yield the greatest delay to end-stage renal disease.

      Keywords

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