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Thread: Cord blood

  1. #1

    Default Cord blood

    My news feed popped up with this article about a trial to use cord blood to treat multiple antibody positive kids to prevent T1D. Does anyone know the rationale and evidence behind this practice? Or is it just a Hail Mary pass since you've already got the cord blood banked?
    1 2-year-old T1D boy
    pumping Minimed 523 8/16
    Dexcom G5 5/16

  2. #2


    The idea behind it is that cord blood is rich in T-reg cells. These are cells which help regulate the immune system. Since type-1 diabetes is caused by an immune system which is overly active and targeting the wrong cells, more T-reg cells could be a cure or prevention. The quote from the researchers is this: "The hypothesis is that autologous cord blood, when reinfused into children at high risk of developing type 1 diabetes, will resotre [sic] immune tolerance and prevent or mitigate the development of type 1 diabetes."

    Similar clinical trials have been run on people in the honeymoon phase (already diagnosed with type-1 diabetes), and these trials were unsuccessful. However, the children in this study have not yet been diagnosed, so the researchers are hoping for a preventive effect. Preventing T1D might be easier than curing it.

    This trial has been on-going since 2013, and their goal is to enroll 20 people. I would call it a phase-I pilot trial. There is no control group; everyone gets the treatment, but you need to have stored cord stem cells and 2 or more autoantibodies.

    You can read my previous blogging about the honeymoon trials here:

    There is more information on this exact trial here:

    Joshua Levy


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