A clinical trial of a vaccine, led by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers and designed to combat type-1 diabetes, has delivered initially promising results, suggesting that it may selectively counter the errant immune response that causes the disease.
“We’re very excited by these results, which suggest that the immunologist’s dream of shutting down just a single subset of dysfunctional immune cells without wrecking the whole immune system may be attainable,” said Lawrence Steinman, MD, professor of pediatrics and of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford. Steinman is a renowned immunologist and multiple sclerosis specialist who treats patients at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. “This vaccine is a new concept. It’s shutting off a specific immune response, rather than turning on specific immune responses as conventional vaccines for, say, influenza or polio aim to do.”