Bonner-Weir and other scientists have argued that either the beta cells in the pancreas continue to make copies of themselves, or that the pancreatic ducts, through a process called budding or neurogenesis, continue producing new cells. Read more
King’s research into understanding the causes of diabetes complications, so he can help to find ways of preventing them through treatments and lifestyle changes, extends far beyond the confines of a lab or a petri dish. He is working with more than 800 people in the Joslin Diabetes Medalist program Read more
Dr. Ferber wants to take a patient’s own liver cells, turn them into beta cells in the lab, and then put them back in the patient just like an islet cell transplant. Because the starting cells are the patient’s own cells, important protein markers on the cells would “match” what the patient’s immune system expects, and the cells would in theory not induce an immune reaction like an organ transplant would. Read more
In anticipation of stable, liquid glucagon, one of the newest entrants into the insulin pump space, Tandem Diabetes Care has jumped ahead of the crowd and created a two-chamber infusion pump capable of holding and injecting both insulin and a secondary hormone, which they expect will be glucagon. This tandem Tandem pump is already being tested in Dr. Ed Damiano’s clinical trial of a dual-hormone bionic pancreas. Read more
Dr. Harrison and his team identified that some T cells express a molecule on their surfaces, CD52, that is capable of suppressing other T cells. Understanding the ways in which the immune system normally controls and suppresses T cells is crucial to our understanding what goes wrong in autoimmune diseases. Read more
The biomaterial holding the islet cells—which is completely synthetic, is 96 percent water, and which Garcia described as having the consistency of diluted Jello-O—and that was infused into the mice, however, addresses several of these problems. Read more
One Sunday evening in 1999, as Dee was preparing dinner, Bill entered their kitchen and asked if he could do anything to help her. Dee turned quickly and said defiantly, “You can cure this disease.” Bill was quiet for a moment, and then said, “OK”. So that began their serious quest for a Type 1 diabetes cure and Type 1 diabetes prevention. Read more
Dr. Doug Melton’s group at Harvard, which has made many advances in our understanding of stem cell and beta cell biology over the years, has identified a new hormone, which they called betatrophin, that, when produced by the liver, induces beta cell growth in the islets of the pancreas.
Faustman holds that BCG vaccination’s primary role in this case is to induce TNF-a expression, and that TNF-a’s primary role in this case is to kill the defective autoreactive T cells after they have developed, implying that treatment with BCG will only work with patients who are already diabetic.
Faustman put her theory to the test and treated three long-term diabetics with BCG to see whether it would have any effect on their disease status.
And here’s where things get interesting for a cure-seeking diabetic: when scientists saw that cells were flooding islets with TNF-a, they decided to see what would happen if they changed the levels of TNF-a in mouse pancreases– and they found that changing the levels of TNF-a changes whether a mouse will get diabetes.
Now take a guess: we have a blaring distress signal, TNF-a, that turns on all the cells of the adaptive immune system, and we have a disease that is characterized by adaptive immune cells overreacting and killing the body’s own cells… Read more