Combination Immunotherapies for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2015 May;11(5):289-97. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2015.8. Epub 2015 Feb 17.


Immunotherapies for type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) have been the focus of intense basic and clinical research over the past few decades. Restoring β-cell function is the ultimate goal of intervention trials that target the immune system in T1DM. In an attempt to achieve this aim, different combination therapies have been proposed over the past few years that are based on treatments tackling the various mechanisms involved in the destruction of β cells. The results of clinical trials have not matched expectations based on the positive results from preclinical studies. The heterogeneity of T1DM might explain the negative results obtained, but previous trials have not addressed this issue. However, novel promising combination therapies are being developed, including those that couple immunomodulators with drugs that stimulate β-cell regeneration in order to restore normoglycaemia. This strategy is an encouraging one to pursue the goal of finding a cure for T1DM. This Review summarizes the available data about combination immunotherapies in T1DM, particularly addressing their clinical importance. The available data supporting the use of registered drugs, such as proton pump inhibitors and incretin-based agents, that have been shown to induce β-cell regeneration will also be discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Immunotherapy
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / immunology*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / physiology
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors