liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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Human Clinical Trials Begin on Possible Type I Diabetes Cure in Boston

And the cure, of all things, could be a 80-year-old tuberculosis vaccination called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG).

Massachusetts General Hospital is running a Phase I Clinical Trial to determine if BCG, a drug with such a long history that we pretty much know just about everything there is to know about its safety and mechanism of action, that if it does as well in humans as it does in mice, we could be looking at not just a cure, but a cheap cure for Type I Diabetes.

The clinical studies are based on the work of Massachusetts General Hospital's Dr. Denise Faustman, an immunologist who in 2001 came up with the idea of treating Type I diabetes using a two-step process to stop the body's immune system from destroying the pancreatic beta cells responsible for making insulin. Her theory was that once you stopped the body from essentially destroying its own cells, new beta cells would grow back and begin producing insulin.

That could mean "hello healthy pancreas," and "good-bye Type I diabetes."

That means a potential cure for humans could be available within the next four years if humans respond as well as mice to the BCG vaccine.

Of course, getting to this point has been a long, hard slog for Dr. Faustman, especially since her original theories and her original studies were poo-pooed by just about everyone. By 2006, though, no less than 3 clinical studies had to concede that the good doc was on to something big.

So you folks with Type I diabetes in the northeast who can easily get to Massachusetts General Hospital, you might want to contact the hospital's Diabetes Center at 617-726-4084 to see if you can get in on the clinical study.

What can I say...I'm a sucker for good news.

A possible cure for Type I diabetes could be on the market within 4 years. I feel giddy.

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