City of Hope Researchers Develop Potential Cure for Advanced Type 1 Diabetes

City of Hope researchers develop potential cure for advanced type 1 diabetes in laboratory

A new research revealed that it is possible to cure late-stage type 1 diabetes by stopping autoimmunity and regenerating insulin-secreting beta cells,” said Defu Zeng, M.D., associate professor in the Division of Diabetes.

City of Hope researchers developed a combination therapy to treat late-stage type 1 diabetes that appears to offer a potential lifetime cure for the disease without toxic side effects

Research findings indicate that it is possible to cure late-stage type 1 diabetes.  This can be done by stopping autoimmunity and regenerating insulin-secreting beta cells

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that affects 20 million people worldwide.  In a person with type 1 diabetes, immune cells mistakenly attack and kill the person’s own insulin-producing cells. Individuals can take insulin to manage diabetes for many years. As a side effect many develop cardiovascular problems over the long term.

Another option for type 1 diabetics is Islet cell transplant.  Islet cell transplants are not easily available, nor last longer than an average of 3 to 5 years.

Other developing therapies for type 1 diabetes either target the autoimmune condition or look to replace the destroyed islet cells, but not both together. Studies have demonstrated only limited success with these approaches.
The research team formulated a combination therapy. This therapy blocks the autoimmunity to prevent continued destruction of islet cells, and to stimulate the growth of new islet cells to restore healthy insulin regulation.

The combination therapy begins with timed doses of anti-CD3 and anti-CD8 antibodies that specially target the host T cells followed by an infusion of donor bone marrow to induce mixed chimerism in the patient.

Mixed chimerism is a condition in which a patient’s immune system is made up of both the patient’s own cells as well as new cells from the donor bone marrow.

The patient’s defective immune cells are replaced by the healthy cells, stopping the autoimmune condition. Unlike traditional bone marrow transplants, this approach does not require radiation or high-dose chemotherapy.