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A vaccine for type 1 diabetes, developed by doctors from Gdańsk, may inhibit the development of the disease. The type 1 diabetes vaccine has already been given to 30 children struggling with this disease and it turns out that it can sustain its development for up to several years. Unfortunately, so far only a few patients can find out about the effect of the vaccine. Check how the vaccine for type 1 diabetes works and what conditions must be met to receive it.

The type 1 diabetes vaccinecan inhibit the development of the disease, argue the doctors from the Medical University of Gdańsk, who have been working on it for several years. However, on condition that the patient goes to specialists as soon as possible from the moment of diagnosis of diabetes. In practice, this means that the vaccine is intended for children, as they develop type I diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes vaccine - how does it work?

Type 1 diabetes is the result of damage to the beta cells (islets of Langerhans) in the pancreas by its own immune system, preventing the pancreas from producing insulin. The vaccine - specifically the regulatory T-lymphocytes (Treg) it contains - suppresses the cells of the immune system as they begin to destroy the beta cells of the pancreas.

The Type I Diabetes Vaccine no longer regenerates damaged cells in the pancreas, but protects those that remain.

In this way, some of the normal insulin-secreting cells are preserved. This allows the patient to receive a lower dose of insulin. In addition, the more cells saved, the lower the risk of hypo- and hyperglycaemia (increase in glucose levels above normal), especially postprandial, and thus - related complications (e.g. blindness, kidney failure).

Regulatory T-lymphocytes (Treg) are isolated from the baby's blood. The problem is that from 250 ml of blood (this amount is taken from a small patient), only 1000 such cells can be isolated. However, in the laboratory they can be multiplied (up to a billion). The process takes two weeks. After this time, the patient is implanted and receives his own cells back, but in a much larger number.

Type 1 diabetes vaccine - is it effective?

So far with lymphocyte treatmentT-regulators (Treg) were used by 30 children. Initial treatment results indicate that the type I diabetes vaccine is effective and safe. Doctors have been observing the remission of diabetes in young patients for three years. For comparison - the methods known so far allow for a maximum of 6-9 months of remission.


Type 1 diabetes vaccine - who has the best chance of treatment?

To keep the vaccine, you must meet all the inclusion criteria for treatment, which - apart from the willingness to cooperate - include, among others

  • age (over 9-10 years old)
  • weight (over 30 kg)
  • education in diabetes self-control
  • no coexisting emotional or mental disorders (e.g. depressive states, eating disorders, addictions, etc.)

Patients with newly diagnosed diabetes who have the greatest reserve of insulin secretion by pancreatic beta cells have the greatest chances for therapy. In such patients it is possible to reduce the dose of insulin, or even give it up altogether (which was the case in two patients so far).

Type 1 diabetes vaccine limited to 2 patients per month

Unfortunately, not every child can convince himself of the effectiveness of the vaccine against type 1 diabetes. Currently, the laboratory in Gdańsk is able to produce a vaccine for 1-2 patients per month. All because the process of multiplication of lymphocytes, and then giving them to the patient, takes about two weeks. In addition, it can only be used by one patient at a time.

Type 1 diabetes vaccine cannot be purchased

Type 1 diabetes vaccine is not reimbursed

In order for the vaccine to be used by more people in need, a new laboratory is needed to treat even a dozen patients a month, and funds are needed. Doctors hope that the laboratory will start operating in the second half of 2016. In turn, the refund of the vaccine by the National He alth Fund may be possible only after the positive recommendation of the Agency for He alth Technology Assessment and Tariff System.

Therapy with T-regulatory lymphocytes (Treg) not only in type 1 diabetes

It is worth knowing that treatment with regulatory T lymphocytes (Tregs) can be used not only in children with newly diagnosed type I diabetes, but also in patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and in patients after pancreatic islet transplantation.

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