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A way to slow the progression of Type 1 Diabetes

by Medindia Content Team on  June 1, 2002 at 4:02 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
A way to slow the progression of Type 1 Diabetes
According to new research, a new drug that suppresses the immune system may slow the progression of type 1 diabetes. An early-phase clinical trial of 10 people aged 8 to 35 years with type 1 diabetes were treated with anti-CD3 mAb, a modified antibody. A 14-day course of the drug appeared to slow the progressive decline in insulin production commonly seen in type 1 diabetics.
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Patients with type 1 diabetes eventually lose the ability to produce insulin entirely and rely solely on injected insulin to maintain control of their good sugar levels. However, the 12 patients treated with anti-CD3 mAb produced more natural insulin and needed less injected insulin one year after treatment they untreated patients. Researchers believe the drug works on the immune system's destructive T-cells, and effectively suppresses the immune cells involved in the development of diabetes. They believe it also helps to retain insulin production well into the course of the disease.

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Kevan Herott, M.D., of Columbia University, felt that, the goal of this trial was to induce tolerance to the beta cell, which is the target of autoimmune destruction in type 1 diabetes. This was in effect achieved, because the clinical effect we saw persisted long after patients had finished treatment with the anti-CD3 antibody.

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