FUDiabetes

Inverse vaccine research for T1D

For those interested, results from a Phase 1 trial involving a vaccine to induce immune tolerance have been published:


Original research article (Open Access):
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(20)30104-2
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This seems pretty amazing! I hope the next couple of phases prove successful, and can be done in short order.

The paper does not state whether the inverse vaccine could repair beta cells. For existing T1Ds who no longer make any insulin (no working beta cells), I guess a beta cell transplant would still be needed?

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Yes, you would either need some method to regenerate the beta cells or a beta cell transplant. Ideally, in case of a donor transplant, you would use this type of vaccination to prevent immune rejection of the transplant. Then you don’t need to suppress the immune system with drugs (or maybe reduce the dosage) that have all kinds of adverse effects.

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Here is what I see as the future development path of this type of research, quoted from the article:

Our results warrant subsequent clinical testing in patients with a shorter diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and with preserved C-peptide production, to assess whether this novel immune intervention strategy is able to delay or halt progressive loss of β-cell function. Further testing would tell whether antigen-specific immunomodulation using tolDCs protects β cells from autoimmune destruction and can act as curative therapy for type 1 diabetes.

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