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posted by Fnord666 on Friday August 11, @06:42PM   Printer-friendly
from the refurbishing-your-model-T-cells dept.

Proinsulin peptide immunotherapy has reportedly been shown to be safe in patients who have newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes. The goal is to slow or halt the progression of diabetes, which seems to be more effective the earlier the treatment can be given:

The first trial of a pioneering therapy to retrain the immune system and slow the advance of type 1 diabetes has shown it is safe. The disease is caused by the body destroying cells in the pancreas that control blood sugar levels. The immunotherapy - tested on 27 people in the UK - also showed signs of slowing the disease, but this needs confirming in larger trials. Experts said the advance could one day free people from daily injections.

[...] The trial focused on patients newly diagnosed with type 1 as they still have about a fifth of their beta cells left.

The study only included 27 participants and has been described as "unconvincing":

"It's an encouraging report, but unconvincing," Kenneth McCormick, MD, director, division of pediatric endocrinology at Children's of Alabama, Birmingham, told Medscape Medical News, noting differences among the groups. "The placebo group at baseline required higher insulin doses and had more elevated glycated hemoglobin, there was significant overlap in data among the groups, and there's a significant difference between the initial insulin dose per kilogram between adults and children."

Metabolic and immune effects of immunotherapy with proinsulin peptide in human new-onset type 1 diabetes (open, DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf7779) (DX)


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  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Friday August 11, @08:52PM

    by looorg (578) on Friday August 11, @08:52PM (#552571)

    So it's safe to keep doing more trials, it's not like they where going into mass-production. There might also be a quite simple explanation for the low number of participants, this is for a very specific case within the uncommon group of people with Diabetes. You first have to be type 1, which is only about 5-10% of all people with Diabetes and then you have to be newly diagnosed. So 27 might actually be a fairly respectable number unless you want to pull people from a really large geographical area. It also seems that a lot of the issues that McCormick has, Medscape is locked behind a paywall, are due to the small sample size and not necessarily drug-related. So in either case he should be happy with more trials since more trials mean more participants and if the 27 are anything to go by they won', or shouldn't, fall over and die from the injections.

    Overall tho until there is a cure for Diabetes type 2 the masses probably won't pay all that much attention to it, a healthy living and exercise isn't as easy or fun as taking a magic pill.

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