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August 15, 2000

Research: Cure

Question from Orlando, Florida, USA:

I have a long family history of type 1 diabetes. My father had diabetes for 54 years before passing away three years ago. My brother and I have had diabetes for 21 and 18 years, respectively. My daughter was diagnosed with diabetes five years ago at the age of four. My father, brother and I were all in our 20's when diagnosed. My diabetes has been under good control for the majority of the 21 years. I still have no signs of diabetes complications, either in the eyes or any signs of kidney problems. I have been reading about the stories of people being cured of diabetes with transplanted beta cell and immunosuppressant drugs. I would like to know how one would go about being selected for this type of study and if children might also be considered. I am currently 41 years old and my daughter is nine. Since she was diagnosed at such an early age, she has much more time than I to live and be affected by the disease. I am just looking for a way to enhance our lives and if you know who I might contact to be considered as a test patient.

Answer:

These trials are now limited to patients with glucose levels difficult to control (e.g., high HbA1c despite intensive insulin treatment and/or hypoglycemia unawareness). You could contact the Immune Tolerance Network at www.immunetolerance.org or individual institutions for more information related to trials that may be available at each center. In North America centers include Miami (www.drinet.org), Minneapolis, Boston, and Edmonton in Canada.More information can also be obtained at the NIDDK web site and at the www.insulin-free.org site.

None of the current active protocols include children.

CR