Published on : Dec 01, 2015
A completely new form of treatment designed for type 1 diabetes has been based on the immune system. So far this method, which is in early phase of the trial, seems to be safe. The real test for this treatment through a larger trial will prove its safety level.
The new treatment uses immune cells known as regulatory T cells (Tregs), which have been observed to be effective against this deadly illness. Jeffrey Bluestone, a professor of metabolism and endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco stated that if this therapy proves to be effective, it could be the much-needed game-changer in the disease management.
He further added that so far type 1 diabetics are usually given immunosuppressive drugs. However, through this trial, Tregs will be used to 're-educate' the immune system, to change the way it manages the disease internally.
The immune systems attacks the insulin-secreting beta cells present in pancreas in case of type 1 diabetics. Therefore, several treatments are used to suppress the immune systems, which can eventually have serious repercussions for the patients such as major infections or cancer.
The difference in the new therapy is that it will use the patient's own regulatory T cells for creating a protection for the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. This approach will reduce the attack and still leave a chance for the immune system to fight infections. According to reports, about 5% of all the cases reported are of type 1 diabetes. Researchers deem this therapy to be a new hope for type 1 diabetics as it an approach to save the immune system and the insulin-producing cells.