Stem cells novel trial for type 1 diabetes patients

The small study used a system called a ‘stem cell educator’, which contained layers of cord blood stem cells.

Twelve patients with type 1 diabetes had their immune cells isolated from their blood, and circulated through a closed-loop system for three hours. T-Lymphocytes were separated from the whole blood and briefly co-cultured with adherent cord blood stem cells before being returned to the patient’s circulation.

The methodology is based on the idea that the stem cells will re-educate the immune cells to stop the autoimmune attack.

The treatment was well tolerated by all participants, improved C-peptide levels and reduced the median HbA1c values and daily dose of insulin required.

Beta cell function improved after a single treatment, and was sustained throughout the 40-week trial period.