The clinical care of patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) has greatly improved over the past few decades; however, it remains impossible to completely normalize blood sugar utilizing currently available tools. Research is underway with a goal to improve the care and, ultimately, to cure T1D by preserving beta cells. This review will outline the progress that has been made in trials aimed at preserving insulin secretion in T1D by modifying the immune assault on the pancreatic beta cell. Although not yet ready for clinical use, successful trials have been conducted in new-onset T1D that demonstrated utility of three experimental agents with disparate modes of action (anti-T cell, anti-B cell, and costimulation blockade) to preserve insulin secretion. In contrast, prevention studies have so far failed to produce positive results but have shown that such studies are feasible and have identified new promising agents for study.
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