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TELEGRAPH (UK) – The end of daily injections for diabetes sufferers could be in sight after scientists showed it is possible to restore insulin production for up to a year by boosting the immune system.
Hundreds of thousands of people in Britain suffer from Type 1 diabetes and need to inject themselves daily to keep blood sugar levels under control.
The disease attacks insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas. Healthy people have billions of ‘peacekeeping’ cells called ‘T-regs’ which protect insulin-making cells from the immune system but people suffering Type 1 diabetes do not have enough.
Now researchers at the University of California and Yale have shown that the ‘T-regs’ can be removed from the body, increased by 1,500x in the laboratory and infused back into the bloodstream to restore normal function.
An initial trial of 14 people has shown that the therapy is safe, and can last up to a year.