Immunotherapy found to be safe in pilot study of people with T1D

A pilot clinical trial in the US has found a new immunotherapy treatment to be safe in people with new onset type 1 diabetes (T1D).

After clinical presentation of T1D, beta cell loss continues progressively in most people until C-peptide levels, a marker of endogenous insulin production, is absent or present in very low levels. Despite intensive research efforts for more than 20 years, no therapy is currently available to prevent beta cell loss in T1D.

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Findings may improve prediction of T1D risk for prevention studies

TrialNet is an international collaborative network that aims to prevent, delay and reverse the progression of type 1 diabetes, involving United States, Canada, Finland, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

TrialNet in Australia/New Zealand is led by A/Prof John Wentworth at Walter & Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) in collaboration with Prof Peter Colman AM.

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The need to screen for additional autoimmune diseases

People with type 1 diabetes (T1D) often develop other autoimmune diseases, but the frequency and predictive factors for development have not been characterised.

lab research

While the mechanisms for T1D are still under investigation, it is thought there are common immune system pathways that may be similar across more than one, or all autoimmune diseases.  Read More

Early probiotic use could help prevent type 1 diabetes in at-risk children

Giving probiotics to babies in the first few weeks of life may lower their risk of developing type 1 diabetes, a recent study has found.


The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics found that children who were given probiotics within the first 27 days of life had a 60% reduction in the risk of developing islet autoimmunity, compared with children who were first given probiotics after 27 days or not at all. Read More

World first trial to slow type 1 diabetes development in children

The Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network has partnered with the Immune Tolerance Network to launch a new Australian clinical trial to slow the development of newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes in children.


The EXTEND-P trial is expected to begin recruitment in March 2016 to test the ability of an existing drug called tocilizumab to preserve beta cell function. Tocilizumab, sold under the brand name Actemra, is currently approved for use in children with juvenile arthritis. Read More

Psoriasis drug may halt the destruction of beta cells in T1D

People with type 1 diabetes (T1D) may be able to preserve their remaining beta cells with alefacept, a drug normally used for psoriasis.


A recent clinical trial has shown that alefacept was able to slow or halt the progression of beta cell destruction in people newly diagnosed with T1D, even two years after completing treatment. Read More

New discovered pathway keeps immune system in check

JDRF-supported researchers from the University of Birmingham have identified a novel immune-regulating pathway that is disrupted in autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.


The study, published in Nature Medicine, shows how in a healthy immune system, a key molecule called PEPITEM tightly controls the level of response to infection and disease. PEPITEM is secreted by B cells of the immune system, and acts to inhibit the movement of inflammatory T cells from the blood into the tissues. In people with type 1 diabetes the level of PEPITEM is reduced, resulting in inappropriate access of damaging T cells to vulnerable tissues. Read More

Serious life events in childhood can triple the risk of type 1 diabetes

Children who experience traumatic events such as illness, death in the family, conflict at home or other psychological stress were found to be up to three times more likely to develop type 1 diabetes, a Swedish study has found.


The study, published in Diabetologia, examined the occurrence of psychological stress and development of type 1 diabetes in over 10,000 children aged 3-14 from the All Babies in Southeast Sweden (ABIS) study. Family stress was measured using questionnaires filled out by parents about the occurrence of serious life events, parental stress, and available social support. In total, 58 children were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during the study period, and of these, 59% had experienced psychological stress, compared with 30% of children that did not go on to develop type 1 diabetes. The difference was significant even when taking into account family history of type 1 diabetes. Read More