Maybe I'm a little late to the party, but has anyone else seen this?! Should I be getting my hopes up? Because I kind of am! My mother sent me this article via Facebook, and I couldn't help but wonder if there is any other information about this anywhere else? What are your thoughts and oppinions?
This work by Denise Faustman has been going on for some years. She is a controversial researcher who found that this inexpensive drug seemed to reduce the autoimmune attack in T1. She was turned away from traditional funding sources and a grass roots effort helped her bring her work to the point where she could do some clinical trials. Those trials are taking place, I believe some of our members have participated. The work is still promising, but it isn't going to be a magic bullet. It may help those who are caught early in the cycle of an autoimmune attack, but it likely won't help all those "mature" T1s.
If you have $20 to give to charity, give your money to Dr. Faustman, don't give it to the ADA.
bsc, Do you know what they mean by "temporary boost in insulin production"? Does that mean that they made enough insulin to fully handle their blood sugar or just that they made more than they had been making before the vaccine? Also wondering if these subjects had zero c-peptide at the start of the study. And also do you have more info regarding the duration of the diabetes? In the study the average duration was 15 years. Is there reason to believe that someone who's had it significantly longer will not respond? I also wonder if this would be related to c-peptide at all. Like, it seems like someone who has measurable c-peptide must have the ability to form beta cells, but maybe if your c-peptide is zero it's not as likely. Are there diabetics who still have measurable c-peptide after ten or fifteen years? I had a zero c-peptide within 3 to 5 years at least, can't remember exactly when that test was done, but it was certainly within five years of my diagnosis.
I believe the point of Faustman's research is to suppress the autoimmune attack. The effect has resulted in boosts in insulin production which reflects that the pancreas has somewhat recovered during the hiatus from the autoimmune attack. I don't think this is about "mature" subjects with zero c-peptide, it is about trying to help people with emerging T1 diabetes. There are certainly some T1s who still have measurable c-peptide even after 50 years (see the Josling medalist study), but it is not clear this approach will ever help these patients.
Any treatment, even a vaccine which would give us one extra year before requiring insulin would be a breakthrough. Eventually, if a way is found to stop the autoimmune reaction in its tracks we could truly eradicate T1. That is still a long way off.
She doesn't seem to be saying this is only for newly dx'ed T1's, though.
I feel like there's something I'm not getting here because, taken at face value, it looks like this should be front page news. And why isn't she getting funding through normal channels? Is it just because the drug won't be profitable?
yeah, this sounds a little "eh" to me. a vaccine sounds like a one-shot deal, but if it only temporarily boosts insulin production....you'd have to keep taking it. as in...more shots....which we do now anyways....
unless they are working on putting this into a one-a-day pill form? i could have missed that in the article. that would certainly be easier.
two things though:
1. this article is from June of last year. not super old, but if there was anything to get our hopes up about, we would probably have heard by now.
2. i'll let all the other T1's test this out before I commit.... :)
I would gladly trade my insulin in for shots of something else, even if I was doing just as many or more shots (though I am crossing my fingers that it's shot into fat and not muscle!). I suppose if this vaccine caused low blood sugar and weight gain it would be no great shakes, but right now I'd be happy to trade my current regimen in for almost anything.
This drug is also used to treat bladder cancer. It can do wonderful things, but the caution is that it is the tuberculosis virus and, in some people, can cause them to develop tuberculosis. Not sure if I, personally, would want to take that chance.