We sought to determine if autologous umbilical cord blood (UCB) infusion followed by 1 year of supplementation with vitamin D and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can preserve C-peptide in children with type 1 diabetes. We conducted an open-label, 2:1 randomized study in which 15 type 1 diabetes subjects with stimulated C-peptide > .2 pmol/mL received either (1) autologous UCB infusion, 1 year of daily oral vitamin D (2000 IU), and DHA (38 mg/kg) and intensive diabetes management or (2) intensive diabetes management alone. Primary analyses were performed 1 year after UCB infusion. Treated (N = 10) and control (N = 5) subjects had median ages of 7.2 and 6.6 years, respectively. No severe adverse events were observed. Although the absolute rate of C-peptide decline was slower in treated versus control subjects, intergroup comparisons failed to reach significance (P = .29). Area under the curve C-peptide declined and insulin use increased in both groups (P < .01). Vitamin D levels remained stable in treated subjects but declined in control subjects (P = .01). DHA levels rose in treated subjects versus control subjects (P = .003). CD4/CD8 ratio remained stable in treated subjects but declined in control subjects (P = .03). No changes were seen in regulatory T cell frequency, total CD4 counts, or autoantibody titers. Autologous UCB infusion followed by daily supplementation with vitamin D and DHA was safe but failed to preserve C-peptide. Lack of significance may reflect small sample size. Future efforts will require expansion of specific immunoregulatory cell subsets, optimization of combined immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory agents, and larger study cohorts.
Autologous umbilical cord blood infusion followed by oral docosahexaenoic acid and vitamin D supplementation for C-peptide preservation in children with Type 1 diabetes
Haller, M. J., Wasserfall, C. H., Hulme, M. A., Cintron, M., Brusko, T. M., McGrail, K. M., ... Schatz, D. A. (2013). Autologous umbilical cord blood infusion followed by oral docosahexaenoic acid and vitamin D supplementation for C-peptide preservation in children with Type 1 diabetes. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 19(7), 1126-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.04.011