Cord blood could prevent diabetes

The Cord Reinfusion in Diabetes (CoRD) study, being conducted at the Kids Research Institute, will recruit 400 to 600 children aged one to 12 at high risk of type 1 diabetes whose own blood was stored at the private cord blood bank Cell Care after they were born.

Lead investigator and paediatric endocrinologist Associate Professor Maria Craig said the science underpinning the trial was very strong.

“The whole aim of this trial is to give children who are already on the path to type 1 diabetes what we hope is an immune boost to prevent them from progressing to type 1 diabetes,” she said.

“We don’t know what the results will be but whatever the outcome this is an important study that needs to be done.”

It is thought that regulatory T cells contained in cord blood may prevent the autoimmune process whereby auto-reactive T cells destroy insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreas and lead to type 1 diabetes.