Researcher Massimo Trucco at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh have observed marked amelioration of diabetes in a mouse model by a novel treatment strategy involving specific modification of the animal’s own dendritic cells, thereby reversing diabetes in animal studies.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the start of a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and feasibility of the treatment. The trial will include at least 15 patients over the age of 18, with type 1 diabetes.
Treatment strategy was found to inhibit the interaction and destructive effect of T cells on the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas, a process that is known to be a critical part of how diabetes occurs.
Dr. Massimo Trucco, said the mice received six injections over the course of several weeks, and the injections interrupted T cell and beta cell interaction. That allowed the beta cells in the pancreas to regenerate and enable the pancreas of the mice to begin producing insulin again.
“The injections proved capable of stopping this vicious cycle, and through this process curing Type 1 diabetes in a mouse, Trucco said.