Immunotherapy Promising for Diabetes: Study

A small clinical trial demonstrates that peptide immunotherapy can halt the progression of early-stage type 1 diabetes.

Simplified schematic of peptide immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes

For the first time, scientists demonstrate that immunotherapy can safely stabilize the progression of early-stage type 1 diabetes in a trial of 27 individuals, according to a report published today (August 9) in Science Translational Medicine.

“The fact that this small study, designed to assess safety, suggests there may be a beneficial outcome is exciting, as we desperately need safe immune interventions that can prevent the decline of the patient’s own insulin secretion in type 1 diabetes,” Andrew Hattersley of the University of Exeter, who was not an author of the study, tells New Scientist.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly targets and destroys insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. While administering insulin can manage the disorder, it doesn’t halt disease progression and, as the authors note…