Search This Blog

Thursday, August 9, 2012

TYPE 1 Diabetes In The News

Although this blog concerns itself normally with Type 2 diabetes, TYPE 1 is in the news recently. It seems that injecting type 1 diabetics with tuberculosis serum 2X daily shows promise in causing folks with type 1 to start producing their own insulin again. This technology and discovery is in its infancy, however any movement forward, especially one that uses the "CURE" word is heading in the right direction.

Here are a couple of links to bring you up to speed on this:


Researcher Hoping Tuberculosis Vaccine May Cure Diabetes

Here’s a minor update on a story we ran late last year: Doctor Denise Faustman of the Faustman Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital is currently trying to reverse Type 1 diabetes using Bacillus Calmette-GuĂ©rin (BCG) vaccinations, which have been used for several decades to fight tuberculosis and treat bladder cancer. (See Trial for Type 1 Cure Picking Up Momentum)
The vaccine, which costs about $15 per dose, has cured Type 1 diabetes in mice. It did so by ridding the body of rogue white blood cells that attack and kill insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. With the dangerous immune cells extinguished, the beta cells regenerate.
As noted earlier, the vaccines are now being tested in humans. For about two and a half years about half a dozen or so patients have been getting the vaccine shots. The side effects, so far, have been minimal and mostly consist of inflammation at the site of the shot or a mild fever, according to WCVB TV in Boston, an ABC affiliate. You can check out a video report by going to the WCVB page.
Phase 1 of the FDA- approved clinical trial involved making sure the vaccine is safe in humans with Type 1 diabetes. The second Phase of the study will involve a greater number of patients and will attempt to determine the right dosing and frequency of the shots. It will also provide greater information regarding the treatment’s effectiveness.
Currently, the Type 1 diabetes care market in the U.S. is estimated to be between $15 million and $17 million.

Here is another one:


The first trial in a handful of humans has suggested that injecting patients with Type 1 diabetes with an inexpensive vaccine normally used to prevent tuberculosis can block destruction of insulin-secreting pancreatic cells in humans and allow regeneration of the pancreas. Such a finding, if confirmed and expanded on, could lay the foundation for freeing the estimated 1 million U.S. Type 1 diabetics from their daily insulin shots. It brings up a word that is rarely or never used in considering the disease: "cure." Such an outcome is still a long way in the future, but Dr. Denise Faustman of Massachusetts General Hospital has already come a long way in her quest to find a new treatment paradigm for diabetes.

Researchers have always assumed that insulin-secreting cells could never be regenerated. Once they are gone, they are gone forever, the theory held. Scientists have thus focused on ways to prevent their loss -- such as by developing vaccines that will halt the immune system's attack on the pancreas before all the cells are destroyed -- or by transplanting replacement cells from a donor. The first approach has not yet shown much success, and the second has provided only limited benefits. Insulin-secreting cells for transplants are difficult to obtain in quantity, provoke a strong immune response and require immunosuppressive drugs. They can "cure" diabetes, freeing patients from their insulin secretions, but the benefits often disappear with time.
Faustman started out as a transplanter, learning her technique from Dr. Paul Lacey of Washington University of St. Louis, a pioneer in the field. When she came to Mass General in 1985, she was confident that she could do the transplants better than other researchers and that her attempts would succeed. For one of the few times in her life, however, it turned out that she was wrong.
She decided to go back into the lab and attempt to figure out why the transplants were failing. Most researchers had studied transplants in mice in which the pancreas was artificially destroyed. Faustman decided to look at mice that, like humans, had a strong propensity to develop diabetes naturally. She found that the transplants failed in those animals just like they had in her human trials, and she eventually determined that the rodents' immune systems were attacking the transplanted cells just like they had their own pancreases.
Eventually, she developed a two-pronged attack. First she injected the mice with Freund's Complete Adjuvant, a mixture of water, oil and parts of dead bacteria that is sometimes used to increase the power of vaccines. The adjuvant overstimulated the immune cells that were attacking the pancreas, causing them to self-destruct. She also injected the rodents with BCG, known formally as bacillus Calmette-Guerin, which has been used for 80 years as a preventive for tuberculosis. It stimulated the production of another immune component, called tumor necrosis factor or TNF, that kills the cells that were attacking the pancreas.
Faustman's goal was simply to prevent the attack on islet cells of the pancreas so that a new transplant could have a chance to take hold. To her great surprise, however, the treated mice began producing insulin again -- a finding that contradicted everything researchers believed about diabetes. Eventually, however, other labs were able to replicate her results.
In subsequent papers, Faustman showed that the new insulin-secreting cells were being produced by the spleen, a fist-sized organ that plays a crucial role in recycling blood cells. First, she demonstrated that the cure of the mice could be accelerated by injecting extra spleen cells into the animals. Then she transplanted male spleens into female mice undergoing the treatment and demonstrated that the insulin-producing cells were male in origin.


I for one will PRAY for the success of this research. While I consider Type 2 diabetes largely controllable by lifestyle, exercise and diet if one is diligent, Type1 is a different situation.

"Father God, in Jesus name, I pray you add your blessing to this research being undertaken"



  1. Hi,
    I went through your posting and found some idea about Type 2 Diabetes. I really appreciate your work. Your writing provides some knowledge about the Type 2 Diabetes and makes people aware of this type of diseases. It gives some idea about the impact of the disease and the steps to be taken care of. I would like to know some thing about the Type1 Diabetes.
    Keep on Posting…!!!

  2. Thanks for reading and your kind comments. The BLOG is primarily about Type 2 diabetes, however from time to time I will post on Type 1 diabetes issues. Dan

  3. I would be supportive on all of your articles and blogs because they are just upto the mark.