Approximately 80 people in the U.S. each day join a club nobody wants to be part of. According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 40 kids and 40 adults every day are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. In addition, it is estimated that as many as 3 million people may have Type 1 Diabetes. While this is a large number, it represents only five percent of the total Diabetes population.
Research is ongoing worldwide for both new treatments, and a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. One scientist that I have been following for the past couple of years, Dr. Denise Faustman, MD, PhD, has recently released some very promising news in her quest to cure Type 1:
“… (June 27th) I presented additional results from the Phase I human clinical trial testing BCG vaccination as a treatment for advanced type 1 diabetes. These data show the potential of BCG treatment or a similar therapy to turn the pancreas “back on” briefly, even in people who have had type 1 diabetes for many years.
Data from the Phase I study show that BCG treatment:
- Eliminated the disease-causing T cells that attack the pancreas
- Increased the number of beneficial regulatory T cells (Tregs)
- Restored the ability of the pancreas to secrete insulin for a time
Notably, these participants had been living with type 1 diabetes for an average of 15 years.”
Dr. Faustman’s research gives me hope. Using a the generic drug BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guerin), which has been used safely on humans as a vaccination to prevent tuberculosis and as a treatment for bladder cancer, she has found a way to turn restore the body’s ability to produce insulin. Of all the research out there, to me this seems to be the most promising.
Thank you Dr. Faustman for all you have been doing. While you don’t know our family, our family feels like we know you. I speak of you and your work often, sharing your achievements with any that will listen. I donate when I can, and while the amount is often small, I hope that it can help.
If a cure is in the future, then prevention is just around the corner. Hopefully someday soon we can all see the Type 1 Diabetes club disband as current membership wans, and new members cease to exist.
I haven’t written about Diabetes much lately, but I was reinspired this afternoon after checking out a blog by a fellow “pancreas,” another Type 1 Mom named Julie Colvin. She has a daughter with Type 1 Diabetes, is an excellent advocate for the Cure and is soon to release her book, A Cure For Emma.