The aim of therapeutic interventions for type 1 diabetes is to suppress pathogenic autoreactivity and to preserve/restore beta-cell mass and function to physiologically sufficient levels to maintain good metabolic control. During the natural history of type 1 diabetes, several strategies have been applied at various stages in the form of primary, secondary or tertiary prevention approaches. Clinical trials using antigen-specific (e.g. DiaPep277, human glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65)) or non-specific immune therapies (e.g. anti-CD3 monoclonal antibodies) have shown some benefit in the modulation of the autoimmune process and prevention of the insulin secretion loss in the short term after diagnosis of diabetes. A single long-term effective therapy has not been identified yet, and it is likely that in most cases a rationally designed combinatorial approach using immunotherapeutic methods coupled with islet regeneration or replacement will prove to be most effective.
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.