An important discovery about Type 1 diabetes could result in more treatments with a new type of immunotherapy meant to combat the disease.
Authorities have just conducted the first trial for a pioneering therapy that would slow the advance of type 1 diabetes, and the results indicate that the treatment is safe. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by destroying cells in the pancreas which are responsible for keep blood sugar levels under control, and this immunotherapy would slow the disease and hopefully one day cause people to no longer have to use daily injections.
The immunotherapy was tested in a small trial involving 27 people in the UK, and it showed signs of working as advertised, but authorities say larger trials will be needed to confirm it. However, it’s a big step forward in solving a serious and common disease worldwide.
Immunotherapies work by trying to get regulartory T-cells to keep the immune response of the body from attacking its own tissues. The immunotherapy exposes these T-cells to fragments of proteins that are found in beta cells.
“In a landmark, placebo-controlled trial for treatments that could halt the progression of type 1 diabetes, scientists report that an immunotherapy was safe and showed metabolic effects,” reads a statement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “As many as 1.25 million Americans are living with type 1 diabetes, and the autoimmune disorder’s prevalence has been increasing in recent decades, with roughly 40,000 people diagnosed each year.”