Mixed-meal tolerance test–stimulated area under the curve (AUC) C-peptide at 12–24 months represents the primary end point for nearly all intervention trials seeking to preserve β-cell function in recent-onset type 1 diabetes. We hypothesized that participant benefit might be detected earlier and predict outcomes at 12 months posttherapy. Such findings would support shorter trials to establish initial efficacy.


We examined data from six Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet immunotherapy randomized controlled trials in a post hoc analysis and included additional stimulated metabolic indices beyond C-peptide AUC. We partitioned the analysis into successful and unsuccessful trials and analyzed the data both in the aggregate as well as individually for each trial.


Among trials meeting their primary end point, we identified a treatment effect at 3 and 6 months when using C-peptide AUC (P = 0.030 and P < 0.001, respectively) as a dynamic measure (i.e., change from baseline). Importantly, no such difference was seen in the unsuccessful trials. The use of C-peptide AUC as a 6-month dynamic measure not only detected treatment efficacy but also suggested long-term C-peptide preservation (R2 for 12-month C-peptide AUC adjusted for age and baseline value was 0.80, P < 0.001), and this finding supported the concept of smaller trial sizes down to 54 participants.


Early dynamic measures can identify a treatment effect among successful immune therapies in type 1 diabetes trials with good long-term prediction and practical sample size over a 6-month period. While external validation of these findings is required, strong rationale and data exist in support of shortening early-phase clinical trials.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.25462621.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at https://www.diabetesjournals.org/journals/pages/license.
You do not currently have access to this content.