A trial by Mayo Clinic in the US has evaluated the safety and feasibility of senolytic drugs for the treatment of diabetes-related kidney disease.

According to the study results, the drugs were able to remove senescent cells from the human body. The result was confirmed using blood analysis and with changes in senescent cell abundance within the skin and fat tissue.

Senescent cells are known to build up with ageing and in organs affected by chronic diseases.

These malfunctioning cells are responsible for various conditions, such as heart, kidney, liver and lung diseases, as well as dementia, osteoporosis, diabetes, and frailty.

Mayo Clinic Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging head James Kirkland said: “Senescent cells can develop in all mammals in response to disease, injury, or cancerous mutations.

“Senolytic drugs do not interfere with generation of senescent cells, which could lead to cancer. However, once formed, senescent cells can contribute to developing cancers, multiple other diseases, and consequences of ageing.”

Kirkland added that senolytic drugs were used in mice to target senescent cells to delay, prevent or treat different diseases, as well as improve general health and independence.

During the Mayo Clinic trial in humans, nine participants were administered with dasatinab in combination with quercetin for three days.

The medication was observed to clear the body in around two days but their effect on mitigating senescent cells was evident for a minimum of 11 days.

Senescent cells are found in end-stage kidney failure and diabetes-related kidney disease patients.

In mice, removal of these cells using senolytic drugs led to improved insulin resistance, cell dysfunction, and other processes involved in disease progression and complications.

The researchers noted that further studies of the drugs are necessary to validate their effect. However, the results of occasional dosing offer hope for avoiding the risks associated with continuous administration.