Tackling Type 1 diabetes
6 February 2013
Preventing Type 1 diabetes could one day become a reality if University clinical trials of a new vaccine prove successful.
Professor Colin Dayan from the University's School of Medicine has joined forces with experts from King's College London, Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF and the Australian Health and Medical Research Council in a clinical trial which aims to slow or halt the process that destroys the insulin-making cells in Type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes arises when a patient's immune system attacks the body's own insulin-making cells. The resulting lack of insulin is life-threatening unless treated with replacement therapy.
Colin Dayan, School of Medicine, who leads the trial said: "We believe that this immune-based therapy can slow or stop the body from damaging its own insulin-making cells in the pancreas. "Research to date shows that the treatment is safe, but we are in the early days and need to learn more about how it works in people with newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes. "If effective, we can develop further treatments for individuals who are at risk of developing this type of diabetes later in life."
Type 1 diabetes affects approximately 1 in 250 of the UK population and is on the increase, especially in young children. Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes is life changing and means that you have to have multiple insulin injections daily for the rest of your life.
Some people experience poor health and quality of life as a result, and the associated ill health places a considerable burden on NHS resources.
As part of the research Professor Dayan is actively recruiting patients to take part in the research. Professor Dayan said: "We are looking for adult volunteers who have been recently diagnosed with Type 1 and may have only just started insulin treatment.
"Taking part involves having vaccination-type injections under the skin every two weeks for 6 months and giving blood and urine samples."
The trial is currently recruiting at four UK hospitals: University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff; Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London; Bristol Royal Infirmary and Royal Victoria Hospital, Newcastle.
The trial, called MonoPepT1De, receives additional support via the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals and King's College London.
Professor Dayan added: "Our ultimate hope is to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. We need to offer all people with diabetes the opportunity to participate in research.
"Information from this trial combined with further studies building on this could improve quality of life and long term health benefits for children and adults with Type 1 diabetes and future generations."
For further information on participating in the University study, can contact: Alison Clark, Diabetes Specialist/Research Nurse on 029 20746710 or e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.