Trial to prevent or delay Type 1 diabetes with child's own cord blood

09 January 2017

Twenty month old Lucy Hinchion has become the world's youngest child to be reinfused with her own umbilical cord blood in an attempt to prevent or delay the onset of type 1 diabetes.

Lucy underwent the infusion  as part of the CORD study (Cord Reinfusion in Diabetes), which is being conducted through the Kids Research Institute at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

The CORD study, which is being led by Professor Maria Craig, is investigating the hypothesis that administering cord blood to children with a family history of type 1 diabetes delays or prevents the onset of this life-long condition.

Lucy's cord blood was initially stored in the hope that it may be used in the future to help seven-year-old sister, Ava, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before Lucy was born. However, after recent testing indicated that Lucy is at high risk of developing the disease as well, her cord blood has served a much more immediate purpose, hopefully stopping the disease in its tracks altogether.

“There is no prevention or cure for type 1 diabetes - a condition that requires life-long management. This is an important step in the advancement of this trial that is looking specifically to prevent or delay the onset type 1 diabetes. We are hopeful this study will provide potential solutions to this chronic condition,” said Professor Craig.

“Ongoing follow-up with Lucy will now occur every 3-6 months for the next three years to monitor her response to the cord blood reinfusion,” added Professor Craig.

Since the study began, approximately 100 participants have been recruited and monitored to see whether they develop antibodies, which indicate a high likelihood of developing diabetes.

Australia currently has one of the highest rates of type 1 diabetes in the world with approximately 130,000 people living with the condition and 2,000 new cases diagnosed each year. If successful, this ground-breaking study will be life-changing.

The study, which is being funded as part of Cell Care’s clinical trial support program, is expected to take five years to complete.

Watch the story on 9 News Australia

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