OBJECTIVE - A pilot study suggested that combination therapy with low-dose anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) and pegylated granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GCSF) preserves C-peptide in established type 1 diabetes (T1D) (duration 4 months to 2 years). We hypothesized that ) low-dose ATG/GCSF or ) low-dose ATG alone would slow the decline of β-cell function in patients with new-onset T1D (duration <100 days).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - A three-arm, randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled trial was performed by the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group in 89 subjects: 29 subjects randomized to ATG (2.5 mg/kg intravenously) followed by pegylated GCSF (6 mg subcutaneously every 2 weeks for 6 doses), 29 to ATG alone (2.5 mg/kg), and 31 to placebo. The primary end point was mean area under the curve (AUC) C-peptide during a 2-h mixed-meal tolerance test 1 year after initiation of therapy. Significance was defined as one-sided value < 0.025.
RESULTS - The 1-year mean AUC C-peptide was significantly higher in subjects treated with ATG (0.646 nmol/L) versus placebo (0.406 nmol/L) ( = 0.0003) but not in those treated with ATG/GCSF (0.528 nmol/L) versus placebo ( = 0.031). HbA was significantly reduced at 1 year in subjects treated with ATG and ATG/GCSF, = 0.002 and 0.011, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - Low-dose ATG slowed decline of C-peptide and reduced HbA in new-onset T1D. Addition of GCSF did not enhance C-peptide preservation afforded by low-dose ATG. Future studies should be considered to determine whether low-dose ATG alone or in combination with other agents may prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
© 2018 by the American Diabetes Association.