From Fontana, California, USA:
I've been diabetic since 1977 and have seen the general belief of the cause gravitate toward autoimmune malfunction. In reading about current research, things such as islet cell regeneration are discussed, sometimes indicating that if the autoimmune disorder could be corrected, the pancreas would regenerate islet cells and resume insulin production. In everything I can find about the research (on mice) over the years, it always states there "could" be human clinical trials in three to five years. But, these clinical trials never seem to happen, and I'm beginning to wonder if mice are the only diabetics that will ever be cured.
Do you know of anyone doing real, human clinical trials on suppressing the immune system to see if the pancreas begins to regenerate? It seems that there would be minimal risk to otherwise healthy diabetics to experiment with immune suppression.
This leads me to another question. There are AIDS patients with type 1 diabetes. It seems to me that if diabetes really is an autoimmune defect, it should subside when someone contracts AIDS, but I haven't heard of this happening.
You express great wishes but science often works very slowly so that we do not do harm. There is major potential harm with immunologic therapies, including death, so that one does not lightly offer such interventions. There are beginning human clinical trials, for instance, with Dr. Faustman's theories to see if they can be confirmed. Several other research centers have also become involved with such studies. All such studies must be done ethically, respecting proper scientific methodologies and, most importantly, try to minimize any negative effects of such treatments to balance against cures and prevention. Also, remember that mouse and other animal models are not exactly the same as humans, although there are enough similarities to be able to use these animals as beginning models for all diseases and treatments.
Original posting 7 Aug 2006
Posted to Research: Cure
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