Treg Cellular Therapy: The Cure in Your Cells
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is thought to develop from an imbalance in a population of white blood cells referred to as T helper cells. In T1D, a population of destructive T cell recognizes the insulin producing pancreatic beta cells as foreign and causes beta cell destruction leading to high blood sugar levels. In individuals without autoimmune diseases like T1D, a unique population of regulatory T cells (Tregs) keeps these destructive T cells in check. Our laboratory is developing clinical protocols to isolate and expand Tregs isolated from a patient’s own supply of cryopreserved umbilical cord blood (UCB). The hope is that this newly isolated population of Tregs from UCB will create a unique cellular therapy that will aid in the restoration of immune tolerance to pancreatic beta cells. We believe this state of immune tolerance to be an essential component to any effective therapy, whether it be early prevention, disease reversal at onset, or restorative therapies following transplantation.