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Diabetes Type 1 Potential Cure for Insulin Dependent Juvenile Diabetes

April 22nd, 2006

Diabetes Type 1  Potential Cure for Insulin Dependent Juvenile Diabetes

Blood Glucose monitor

A team of researchers from the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LIAI) have made a major discovery that could lead to a potential cure for type 1 diabetes.  The research team was led by Matthias von Herrath, M.D., an internationally recognized expert on the molecular basis of type 1 diabetes has plans for human clinical trials to begin later in the year.

The treatment in this study used a combination to reverse the recent onset of type 1 diabetes in the majority of lab animals that they tested.  Type 1 diabetes is caused by an immune system that attacks the pancreas which causes a deficiency of insulin production.  Type 2 diabetes is usually caused by being obese or overweight.  The report was first published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


The two therapies the researchers were using are called anti-CD3 antibody and proinsulin peptide.  There currently are human trials with these treatments, but on an individual basis.  The results so far for the human trials with these chemicals on an independent basis were not as effective in the treatments compared to the mice studies.  The researchers hope that combining the treatments in a human trial will be successful.

"The finding of increased efficacy of reversal of recent-onset type 1 diabetes in animals that received a combination of systemic anti-CD3 antibody and intranasal proinsulin peptide compared to therapy with the antibody alone is an exciting and important finding," said Richard A. Insel, M.D., Executive Vice President for Research at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

In two separate clinical trials the anti-CD3 antibody has been successful at temporarily reversing recent onset of human type 1 diabetes.  The reversal lasted for more than one year.


"This combination approach is worth evaluating in human type 1 diabetes to increase both the overall efficacy of the treatment and the duration of the beneficial effect," Dr. Insel said.

"The combinatorial approach doubled the efficacy in laboratory mice -- with fewer side effects than using either one alone."  Dr. von Herrath said. "The diabetes never reoccurred in the lifespan of the mice."

If this combination treatment is successful it could change type 1 diabetes forever.  A child with pre-diabetes could be treated with the combination therapy and be potentially cured.  They would not have daily insulin injections for controlling blood sugar levels.  By curing the type 1 diabetes the children as adults could possibly avoid body organ failures such as kidney failure, adult blindness, and amputations.


"Since the complications from high blood sugar levels (diabetes) worsen with time, we are hopeful that this therapy can reverse the disease in patients before they have too much multi-organ damage," Dr. von Herrath said.

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM