With more than four decades of clinical research and 25 years of clinical trials, much is known about the natural history of T1D before and after clinical diagnosis. We know that autoimmunity occurs early in life, that islet autoimmunity inevitably leads to clinically overt disease, and that some immune therapies can alter the disease course. In the future, we will likely conduct trials to more deeply explore mechanisms of disease and response to therapy, employ combinations of agents including those aimed at supporting beta cells, consider the use of chronic, intermittent therapy, focus studies on preventing progression from islet autoimmunity, and consider the potential benefits of studying children independently from adults. Much of this work will depend upon clinical trial networks such as Diabetes TrialNet. Such networks not only have the expertise to conduct studies but their sharing of data and samples also allows for discovery work by multiple investigators, laying the groundwork for the future. Working with patients, families, funders and industry, such collaborative networks can accelerate the translation of science to clinical practice to improve the lives of those living with T1D.
Keywords: Clinical trials; Diabetes TrialNet; Disease modifying therapy; Type 1 diabetes.
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