New Vaccine Could Help Type 1 Diabetes Patients

A molecule that can prevent Type 1 diabetes in mice has been determined to offer an immune response in human cells according to a new study. This study was performed by researchers at National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado. The results of the study indicated that a mutated insulin fragment could be useful in developing a vaccine for Type 1 diabetes.


The study, published to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicated that vaccination is a possible strategy for preventing the development of diabetes in young patients. Type 1 diabetes affects mostly children and has been determined to have some genetic components that contribute to the risk of developing the disease.


Type 1 diabetes is especially dangerous because there are only limited treatments that have been proven to be safe and effective for children. The strategy of vaccinating children for diabetes has not yet been successful because previous researchers have been unable to develop a vaccine that would elicit an immune response in children. However, this latest study which tested an insulin fragment with a change to a single amino acid would deliver an immune response when administered to the body. The study, performed by Dr. Kappler, Aaron Michels, MD, at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, does not yet prove whether or not a vaccine would work in humans, it does offer some promise that it might be possible.

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