Researchers develop vaccine against future loss of insulin-producing cells

A team of doctors may have developed a vaccine that could enable individuals with type 1 diabetes to retain more insulin production following diagnosis than previously thought possible.

Ivanhoe News reports that researchers from the State University of New York Upstate Medical Center are currently testing a medication that could potentially stop the immune system from attacking the remaining insulin-producing beta cells of individuals who have recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

"What we want to do is to preserve these insulin-producing cells that have not yet been destroyed at the time of diagnosis," Ruth S. Weinstock, one of the researchers, told the news source. "Even a small amount of insulin production will help the person better control the disease, make it easier to control and therefore decrease complications."

The vaccine could be a major breakthrough for diabetes care. It could mean fewer insulin injections and improved control of blood sugar levels. The researchers are currently enrolling study participants to further evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Given the ongoing need for blood sugar testing and insulin injections, type 1 diabetes care can cost more than $6,000 per year, according to Consumer Reports.