Predictive biomarkers allow early preventive intervention
A Window into the Future Will Help to Stem Growth of Diabetic Complications
With the rapidly growing number of people with diabetes, the ability to intervene early with a more intensive approach for those who need it most could be instrumental in reducing complications. This capability could greatly reduce the expenses of hospital stays, kidney dialysis and transplants, amputations, blindness, heart attacks and strokes that cost billions of dollars each year.
Currently we are not able to predict which patients are most likely to develop devastating diabetic complications. Since accelerated diabetic nephropathy (DN) and retinopathy (DR) occurs in some individuals with modestly elevated blood sugars, while others never progress in spite of poor sugar control over many years, treatments cannot be individualized appropriately, often resulting in less aggressive treatment than is necessary for those at greatest risk of complications. By the time symptoms occur, it is too often too late to change the outcome, even with aggressive treatment. Patients who are unaware of their specific risks are often complacent and unresponsive, when more attentive behavior could dramatically change their outcomes.
PreventAGE Is in a Position to Fundamentally Transform Diabetes Care
At the American Diabetes Association 72nd Scientific Sessions, PreventAGE Chief Scientific Officer, Paul J. Beisswenger, MD of Dartmouth Medical School presented ground-breaking research showing that three biomarkers have significant predictive value for progression to diabetic nephropathy.
- In the study, ten potential biomarkers were measured in plasma from patients with Type 1 diabetes, each whom had a kidney biopsy done at entry and five years later.
- The biopsies allowed the researchers to identify those who showed progression toward diabetic nephropathy at its earliest stages, even before any clinical symptoms were apparent versus those who did not progress to complications.
- Of the ten biomarkers tested, three that reflect chemical pathways that play roles in the development of diabetic complications, showed significant predictive value for progression toward kidney disease.
- We have recently confirmed these findings in Type 2 diabetes, where the same biomarkers were found to indicate biopsy proven kidney disease, as well as eventual progression to clinically advanced kidney disease. The results of these studies have been reported at two major scientific meetings, and are being prepared for publication.
- This research paved the way for PreventAGE to offer unique blood tests that assess patient risk of developing diabetic complications.
These Findings are Important
The ability to determine which patients are likely to progress to complications with the tests that PreventAGE is offering will allow doctors to focus attention on those with the greatest risk. With a window into a patient's future, it is possible to delay, stop or reverse problems with targeted, cost-effective treatments in a timeframe that would make a difference. This can dramatically improve patient care and outcomes. A personalized risk profile will allow individual informed treatment decisions on the patients’ part, and would be more likely to change patient behavior. Increased attention to tight diabetic control in the early stages of diabetes based on this information can significantly reduce complications later.