Type 1 Diabetes: Preventive Therapy

Through the detection of islet autoantibodies, type 1 diabetes can often be diagnosed years before the onset of the autoimmune disease. In many cases, the disease progresses so slowly that enough time remains for a preventive immunotherapy, as is offered in the new Oral Insulin Study of the Institute of Diabetes Research in Munich. In the previous DPT trial (Diabetes Prevention Trial – Type 1), the onset of diabetes could be delayed for 12 years.

Prof. Dr. Anette-Gabriele Ziegler and her team from the Institute of Diabetes Research, Helmholtz Zentrum München, a partner in the DZD, are offering an autoantibody screening test for people aged one  to 45 years who have first- or second-degree family members with type 1 diabetes. One of the aims of the screening test, which is free of charge, is to identify individuals who would benefit from a preventive therapy trial.
The test screens for four islet autoantibodies that target key components of the insulin metabolism in the beta cells. The term “islet autoantibody” is derived from the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. There the islet autoantibodies bind specifically to antigens of the beta cells and thus trigger the pathological reaction of the immune system.
In the international Oral Insulin Study, a kind of “vaccination” shall prevent the immune system from mistakenly identifying the beta cells as alien and shall thus delay the destructive attack on the beta cells as long as possible. The participants receive insulin in the form of capsules. Administered orally, the insulin is not used for lowering the blood glucose, but rather to influence the immune system. In the previous DPT trial (Diabetes Prevention Trial – Type 1), the onset of diabetes could be delayed for 12 years. The participants of this trial received oral insulin in the same dosage as in the Oral Insulin Study. With this Oral Insulin Study, the Munich researchers are investigating whether the positive result of the DPT trial can be confirmed in a similar collective.
Relatives of type 1 diabetics between three  and 45 years of age are eligible to participate in this preventive therapy trial if the screening test shows the presence of insulin autoantibodies (IAA) plus at least one other islet autoantibody.

To request more information, without any obligation, please contact:
Phone (free): 0800 – 82 84 86 8