Biomarkers help predict kidney failure in diabetics

Fri, 20 Jan 2012
Two new studies from the United States have uncovered new biomarkers that can predict the risk of kidney failure in people with diabetes. The markers were shown to predict accurately the likelihood of renal failure when they were elevated in the bloodstream of patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

The research, which was carried out at Joslin Diabetes Center and published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, revealed that high concentrations of Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor 1 and 2 (TNFR1 and TNFR2) can predict the risk of renal function loss in diabetes patients up to a decade in advance, much more precisely than is currently the case by clinical tests.

The studies revealed that people at risk of end-stage renal disease had elevated concentrations of TNFR1 and TNFR2 in their blood, and examined if they were also indicators of early renal function decline in diabetes. It is hoped the breakthrough will help in the development of new treatments that delay or prevent the progression of renal disease in diabetes.

Senior researcher Andrzej Krolewski commented "These markers are excellent predictors of early and late renal function decline in patients with diabetes."

He added "A diagnostic test to measure TNFRs in blood will be developed soon and available for patients. In the meantime, our findings suggest that mechanisms underlying the association between TNFRs and high risk of renal function decline may be a target for new drug development."
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