Does partial preservation of residual beta-cell function justify immune intervention in recent onset Type I diabetes?
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Immune intervention seems to offer the prospect of preventing or reversing the hyperglycaemic phase of Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. A number of prevention trials have been undertaken before disease onset but the logistics of such trials are prohibitive. More rapid and less expensive means of testing new therapies are needed and the current emphasis is therefore on intervention after diagnosis to salvage residual beta-cell function. At present, because restoration of normal metabolism seems unattainable, such interventions are tested against their ability to maintain C-peptide production over the first months or years of diabetes.