New vaccine breakthrough gives hope to prevention of type 1 diabetes

by Barbara Hewitt on February 7, 2013

New vaccine breakthrough gives hope to prevention of type 1 diabetes

Clinical trials are underway for a new vaccine which aims to slow or halt the process that destroys insulin making cells in type 1 diabetes. Scientists say that if it is successful it could lead to the prevention if type 1 diabetes becoming a reality.

Professor Colin Dayan from the University of Cardiff’s School of Medicine has joined forces with experts from King’s College London, type 1 diabetes charity JDRF and the Australian Health and Medical Research Council in the trial.

Type 1 diabetes arises when a patient’s immune system attacks the body’s own insulin-making cells. The resulting lack of insulin is life threatening unless treated with replacement therapy. ‘We believe that this immune based therapy can slow or stop the body from damaging its own insulin making cells in the pancreas. Research to date shows that the treatment is safe, but we are in the early days and need to learn more about how it works in people with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes,’ said Dayan.

Quote from DiabetesForum.com : “Ok I’m afraid the next time I see my dr he’s going to put me on insulin and I’m afraid of needles. I know it’s silly when if I can’t get under control my bs that so much damage can happen. But really how bad is it really? We are all loving people nothing more nothing less.”

‘If effective, we can develop further treatments for individuals who are at risk of developing this type of diabetes later in life,’ he added.

Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is life changing and means that you have to have multiple insulin injections daily for the rest of your life. Some people experience poor health and quality of life as a result, and the associated ill health places a considerable burden on NHS resources. As part of the research Professor Dayan is actively recruiting patients to take part in the programme. ‘We are looking for adult volunteers who have been recently diagnosed with type 1 and may have only just started insulin treatment. Taking part involves having vaccination type injections under the skin every two weeks for six months and giving blood and urine samples,’ he explained.

The trial is currently recruiting at four UK hospitals: University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff; Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London; Bristol Royal Infirmary and Royal Victoria Hospital, Newcastle. The trial, called MonoPepT1De, receives additional support via the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals and King’s College London.

‘Our ultimate hope is to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. We need to offer all people with diabetes the opportunity to participate in research. Information from this trial combined with further studies building on this could improve quality of life and long term health benefits for children and adults with type 1 diabetes and future generations,’ Dayan said.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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