National Institutes of Health-funded research has discovered that a treatment regimen affecting the immune system has worked to decrease the progression of Type 1 Diabetes in individuals who had a high risk of developing the disorder.
This is the first study over the years, which showed that the disease could be delayed by 2 or more years. The results of the research were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
How does it work?
It involved using an anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (teplizumab). 76 participants related to individuals who have Type 1 Diabetes were involved in the study. One treatment group received a 14-day course of the antibody, and the other was given a placebo.
Throughout the study, glucose tolerance tests were conducted. It was found that only 43% of the group who received antibodies developed clinical diabetes, whereas 72% of the people in the control group developed the disorder.
Moreover, it also took 48 months for the first group to get diagnosed with diabetes, whereas it only took 24 months for the control group to get the full-blown diagnosis.
Project scientist speaks out
Lisa Spain, the project scientist, revealed that she was struck by the difference between the outcomes between the two groups. She also added that this is the first time there is clinical evidence that Type 1 Diabetes can be delayed with early treatment.
“The results have important implications for people, particularly youth, who have relatives with the disease, as these individuals may be at high risk and benefit from early screening and treatment.”
The disorder develops when the immune cells of the body destroy insulin-producing Beta cells as a result of an autoimmune disease. The drug used in the studies target these immune cells and decreases the destruction of insulin-producing cells.