Clinical trials of cyclosporin in IDDM.
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The results of uncontrolled trials in immunomodulation of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) led to randomized controlled trials in Canada and Europe. In the Canadian open study, the rate of clinical remissions (target control of glycemia maintained with less than or equal to 0.15 U.kg-1.day-1 insulin) was unexpectedly high among 81 subjects who had been treated with cyclosporin for at least 3 mo (mean serum trough levels approximately 125 ng/ml by radioimmunoassay). Subjects entered the study within 14 wk of onset of symptoms and received 6 wk of insulin therapy. The clinical remission rate at 1 yr was 46%; of these patients, 84% were not receiving insulin. An effect on beta-cell function was suggested by recovery of plasma glucagon-stimulated C-peptide levels into the normal range in many patients, with maintenance of levels through 1 yr in patients in remission. On the basis of these findings, the French and Canadian-European study groups conducted randomized double-blind controlled trials of cyclosporin, which confirmed the results of the open studies in terms of clinical remission. The Canadian-European study also demonstrated enhancement of beta-cell function by cyclosporin by 3 mo, which was maintained for 1 yr. In the Canadian open study, most patients relapsed within a few weeks after discontinuation of cyclosporin, indicating the need for longer-term immunomodulatory therapy for maintenance of remission. The nature and degree of structural change in kidney biopsies from patients in these studies are under assessment. The results strongly support the hypothesis that autoimmune mechanisms mediate beta-cell damage in many patients with IDDM.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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