(HealthDay News) — For patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD), a set of 9 molecular biomarkers together with clinical risk factors enhances prediction of renal function loss, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Gert Mayer, MD, from the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria, and colleagues developed a molecular process model of CKD in diabetes using publicly available data and identified a representative parsimonious set of 9 molecular markers. These were measured in baseline serum samples from 1765 patients recruited from 2 trials. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) decline was predicted based on the molecular markers, clinical risk factors, or both.

The researchers found that for patients with eGFR ≥60 and <60 mL/min/1.73 m², the variability of annual eGFR loss explained by the biomarkers was 15 and 34%, respectively, as indicated by the R² value, while 20% and 31% of variability was explained by clinical predictors, respectively. The adjusted R² value increased to 35% and 64%, respectively, for a combination of molecular and clinical predictors.

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“A small set of serum protein biomarkers identified using a systems biology approach, combined with clinical variables, enhances the prediction of renal function loss over a wide range of baseline eGFR values in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and CKD,” the authors write.

AstraZeneca, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and Keryx Biopharmaceuticals funded the 2 trials from which the patients were recruited.

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  1. Mayer G, Heerspink HJ, Aschauer C, et al. Systems Biology-Derived Biomarkers to Predict Progression of Renal Function Decline in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Care. 11 January 2017. doi: 10.2337/dc16-2202. [Epub ahead of print]