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Immunol Lett. 2014 May-Jun;159(1-2):30-5. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2014.02.006. Epub 2014 Feb 24.

Combination therapy for preservation of beta cell function in Type 1 diabetes: new attitudes and strategies are needed!

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Division of Pediatrics, County Council of Östergötland, and Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Sweden. Electronic address:


In several diseases where the immune system plays an important role there has been a tremendous progress in treatment efficacy during the last decades. Based on necessary basic science these improvements are results of rapid, numerous and open-minded clinical trials where pieces of positive results step by step have been added into treatment schemes. Treatment of Type 1 diabetes has certainly improved but too slowly. It has been difficult to convince the scientific community of opinions which among non-professionals have been regarded as common sense such as the value of normal blood glucose and preservation of insulin secretion. Lack of motivation to participate in clinical trials has slowed down progress, as well as too narrow views on both pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes and how studies should be designed to test therapeutic interventions. Studies in experimental animals can create and support hypothesis for human conditions but must not delay clinical trials too long. There is already evidence enough for intervention trials where immune suppression is combined with antigen treatment, beta cell protection, anti-inflammatory treatment, and efforts to stimulate beta cell regeneration. Regimens should be elaborated and first tried in those groups of patients where response can be expected to be best, and thereafter adjusted to increase efficacy step-wise, and in broader patient categories.


Antigen treatment; Beta cell regeneration; C-peptide; Combination therapies; Immune intervention; Type 1 diabetes

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