Electronics

Immunotherapy succeeds in thwarting type 1 diabetes in study

Immunotherapy succeeds in thwarting type 1 diabetes in study

In a small but rigorous clinical trial, British investigators gave patients recently diagnosed with the metabolic disorder a truncated version of the chemical that gives rise to insulin. As their immune systems progressively destroyed the pancreatic cells that normally produce the essential hormone, their daily insulin use grew on average 50 percent.

A twice-daily injection with "small fragments" of protein molecules helped prevent cells from attacking insulin, researchers at King's College London (KCL) and Cardiff University observed.

The disease develops when a patient's immune system mistakenly attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Importantly, all eight subjects in the placebo arm needed to increase their insulin doses over the 12-month course of the study, whereas individuals receiving the new treatment all remained stable.

The researchers reported their findings in the most recent (August 9th) edition of the journal Science Translational Medicine. Without treatment the number of beta cells will slowly decrease and the body will no longer be able to maintain normal blood sugar (blood glucose) levels.

USMC Orders 'Operational Reset' After Osprey Crash Off Australia
The ministry has judged that it is appropriate to request the US military take the utmost care for safety when flying Ospreys. Robert Neller has directed all aviation units to conduct a 24-hour operational pause sometime in the next two weeks.

Karen Addington, chief executive of type 1 diabetes charity JDRF, added: "Exciting immunotherapy research like this increases the likelihood that one day insulin-producing cells can be protected and preserved".

If effective, it could free people with type 1 diabetes from having to closely monitor their blood sugar levels and inject insulin, although they would need to take immunosuppressive drugs to stop their bodies from destroying the new cells.

"The peptide technology used in our trial is not only appears to be safe for patients at this stage, but it also has a noticeable effect on the immune system". What's more, researchers have been hesitant to implement newer clinical strategies like immunotherapies - molecules created to stave off destructive immune responses in diabetes by mimicking a portion of proinsulin peptide - due to concerns of inadvertently aggravating the disease. "We have learned that immune attacks like this can be suppressed by immune cells called T-regs (regulatory T cells)".


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