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Diabetes and Beta Cells Article Archives

April 2014

Life With Type 2: The Power of Naming

This is not a religious essay, so please don't take the example below wrong.

comments 0 comments - Posted Apr 9, 2014

February 2014

Weekly Potpourri

Blame The Media

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 23, 2014

January 2014

Asian Companies to Collaborate on Type 1 Antibody Treatment

Two Asian companies--BioLineRx of Israel and JHL Biotech of Taiwan--have agreed to collaborate on the development and marketing of BL-9020, a monoclonal antibody that could become a significant means of treatment for early-stage type 1 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 10, 2014

December 2013

Skin Disease Drug Holds Promise for Type 1s

File this news under "potential breakthrough you didn't see coming." Researchers have tried--and seem to have succeeded--in slowing the destruction of beta cells by treating recently diagnosed people with type 1 diabetes with alefacept, a drug usually prescribed to treat psoriasis, a disorder that leaves skin red and itchy.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 8, 2013

October 2013

Type 2 Beta Cells Decline Faster Than Previously Thought

People with type 2 diabetes and those heading toward that diagnosis may face a quicker decline in their beta cell function than previously understood, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. That means the progress and challenges for such patients may progress more quickly than doctors expects and need more aggressive treatment.

comments 0 comments - Posted Oct 9, 2013

August 2013

Q&A With Dr. Richard Bernstein

Is it important to determine the exact type of diabetes you have if you're already on insulin and maintaining very good blood sugar control, and if so, why?

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 21, 2013

Dietary Changes Could Preserve Beta Cells

Type 1 diabetes doesn't happen all at once. Scientists have shown that it's usually a gradual process, in which the insulin-producing beta cells eventually fade out. So wouldn't it be marvelous if the function of those beta cells could be preserved, allowing people newly diagnosed with diabetes to produce some of their own insulin for a longer time?

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 3, 2013

September 2012

Israeli Scientists Develop Promising Beta Cell Transplant Technique

Israeli researchers believe that they have found a way to increase the survival and effectiveness of insulin-producing pancreatic cells transplanted into diabetic mice. The technique, developed by scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba, involves surrounding the transplanted beta cells with a three-dimensional latticework of nurturing blood vessels called "engineered tissue."

comments 1 comment - Posted Sep 10, 2012

July 2012

Type 2: Early Therapy Helps Retain Beta Cell Function

Immediately starting intense therapy for newly diagnosed type 2s preserved their beta cell functioning for 3.5 years, according to a University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center study.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 18, 2012

August 2011

Drug Combo Slows Onset of Type 2 Diabetes

Low doses of metformin and rosiglitazone seem to delay the onset of type 2 in prediabetic people who have impaired glucose tolerance, according to a Canadian study. However, although the drug combination was effective over the first year of the study in helping to control glucose levels and insulin resistance, it was not effective subsequently in delaying the onset of insulin resistance and pancreatic beta cell deterioration.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 7, 2011

June 2011

Type 2 Diabetes: From Old Dogmas to New Realities

Over the last decade, dramatic changes have occurred in our understanding of the onset and progression of prediabetes. Lightning speed changes have also occurred regarding the therapies available to achieve optimal blood glucose control. Even with all of this change, however, many old dogmas hang on. It's time to become aware of the new realities.  In this article, I focus on two common old dogmas and the new realities.

comments 2 comments - Posted Jun 16, 2011

April 2011

Store Your Teeth in a Stem Cell Bank

Every year four million baby teeth fall out, and 1.4 million wisdom teeth are pulled out of our collective mouth. Until recently, the only entity really interested in all those teeth was the tooth fairy. But all that changed in the year 2000, with the discovery that dental pulp contains adult stem cells. In the not-too-distant future, those stem cells might be used for growing new islet cells to cure diabetes. The problem is, how to keep the teeth nice and fresh until that hoped-for day. That's where Provia Laboratories comes in, with their Store-A-Tooth service.

comments 1 comment - Posted Apr 24, 2011

March 2011

Pre-Diabetes Glossary

This List defines terms that people with prediabetes commonly encounter as they learn more about the condition.

comments 2 comments - Posted Mar 29, 2011

February 2011

Last Patient Completes the EU Phase III Study of Diamyd® Antigen Based Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes

The final patient has performed the last visit of the main study period in Diamyd Medical's European Phase III study. Treatment with the antigen based therapy Diamyd® is made to investigate whether beta cell function and thereby blood sugar control can be preserved in children and adolescents with new onset type 1 diabetes. The top line results from this study are expected to be reported as planned, in late spring 2011.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 15, 2011

Lilly and the JDRF Partner to Fund Regenerative Medicine Research in Type 1 Diabetes

INDIANAPOLIS and NEW YORK - Eli Lilly and Company and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) today announced that they have signed an agreement to fund early-stage research that could enable patients with type 1 diabetes to regenerate insulin-producing cells destroyed by the disease.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 4, 2011

December 2010

Stem cells used to make pancreas, gut cells

(Reuters) - Stem cells can be transformed into the pancreatic cells needed to treat diabetes and into complex layers of intestinal tissue, scientists demonstrated in two experiments reported on Sunday.

comments 6 comments - Posted Dec 13, 2010

August 2010

The Sanford Project Launches Research Study to Find a Cure

"The objective of this clinical trial (research study) is to determine if the medications can rescue the few beta cells that remain soon after the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes; and whether new beta cells can even be regenerated," commented Alex Rabinovitch, MD, Principal Investigator of the trial and Associate Director of The Sanford Project. "The investigational combinations of these medications could possibly allow patients to decrease or no longer need to inject insulin to keep their blood levels under proper control."

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 12, 2010

June 2010

Malfunctioning Pancreatic

A malfunction in the pancreas's "circadian clock*," the built-in timer found in all living things that regulates major biological processes, may be one of the reasons that people develop diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 29, 2010

May 2010

Beware the Perils of Severe Hypoglycemia

Over 80 years ago, famed diabetologist Elliot Joslin said about the treatment of patients with type 1 diabetes: "Ketoacidosis may kill a patient, but frequent hypoglycemic reactions will ruin him."  Unfortunately, hypoglycemia continues to be the most difficult problem facing most patients, families, and caregivers who deal with the management of type 1 diabetes on a daily basis. Frequent hypoglycemia episodes not only can "ruin," or adversely impact the quality of life for patients, but also, when severe, can cause seizures, coma, and even death.

comments 14 comments - Posted May 13, 2010

Recruiting Patients with Newly Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes

Dr. Richard Hays announced today that he is now recruiting children with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes for Protégé Encore, a randomized, placebo-controlled Phase III clinical trial. This is the second of two Phase III studies testing the safety and efficacy of an investigational drug called teplizumab. The first study, known as Protégé, has completed enrollment of more than 530 subjects with type 1 diabetes. There is currently no approved therapy to slow the progression of type 1 diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 12, 2010

Stem Cell Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes

Osiris Therapeutics announced that it has been granted Orphan Drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Prochymal as a treatment for type 1 diabetes mellitus. The FDA instituted the Orphan Drug Act to promote the development of treatments for underserved patient populations. To be eligible for Orphan Drug designation, the treatment must target a disease that affects fewer than 200,000 new patients per year in the United States.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 7, 2010

April 2010

Insulin-Producing Cells Derived from Specially Bred Pigs

NEW YORK, April 27, 2010 - The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation announced today that it is partnering with Living Cell Technologies (LCT), a New Zealand-based biotechnology company focused on developing cell based therapeutics, in a Phase II clinical trial to study the safety and effectiveness of transplanting encapsulated insulin-producing cells from pigs as a treatment for type 1 diabetes with significant hypoglycemia unawareness.

comments 1 comment - Posted Apr 28, 2010

Artificial Pancreas for Type 1 Diabetes Works in Clinical Trials

The first human trials of the latest design of an artificial pancreas for people with type 1 diabetes found the device worked without causing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

comments 8 comments - Posted Apr 18, 2010

Insulin-Producing Beta Cells Can Be Reborn

Healthy, insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas have a relatively long life and typically do not replicate under normal conditions. Any loss of beta cells, therefore, is usually permanent. In the case of type 1 diabetes, for example, the destruction of beta cells by the body's own immune system is permanent.

comments 2 comments - Posted Apr 9, 2010

March 2010

The Story of GAD

You may not have heard of GAD, but it's a hot topic in the world of type 1 diabetes research. GAD, which stands for glutamic acid decarboxylase, is an enzyme in the brain and the pancreas that plays several roles in the body. As an enzyme, it converts the excitatory amino acid glutamate into the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which nerve cells use to communicate.  But it also has a less helpful role, as an autoantigen (an element of self that provokes the generation of antibodies) in autoimmune diabetes.

comments 4 comments - Posted Mar 23, 2010

Discovery of a Suspect Enzyme in Humans Could Lead to Powerful Type 1 Therapy

An enzyme that destroys pancreatic beta cells in lab mice has now been observed in human beta cells. Because scientists already know how to delete the mouse gene that produces the enzyme, they are hopeful that the same therapy can eventually be applied to people with type 1 diabetes. If so, it would be one of the most powerful therapies yet for addressing the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells that causes type 1.

comments 4 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2010

February 2010

JDRF-Funded Research Advances Potential for Regeneration as a Possible Cure for Type 1 Diabetes

A hormone responsible for the body's stress response is also linked to the growth of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, according to JDRF- funded researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California. The findings are the latest advances to underscore the potential for regeneration as a key component of a possible cure for type 1 diabetes.

comments 2 comments - Posted Feb 22, 2010

Researchers Discover Protein that Triggers Islet Cell Rejection

Researchers at RIKEN and Fukuoka University have pinpointed the mechanism responsible for early rejection of transplanted pancreatic islet cells in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. A new system based on this mechanism has been shown to vastly increase transplant efficiency, setting the stage for the development of powerful new treatment techniques.

comments 5 comments - Posted Feb 9, 2010

January 2010

Skin cells transformed directly into nerve cells: Are beta cells next?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Researchers have transformed ordinary mouse skin cells directly into neurons, bypassing the need for stem cells or even stemlike cells and greatly speeding up the field of regenerative medicine.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jan 29, 2010

Newly identified genes influence insulin and glucose regulation

An international research consortium has found 13 new genetic variants that influence blood glucose regulation, insulin resistance, and the function of insulin-secreting beta cells in populations of European descent. Five of the newly discovered variants increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes.

comments 2 comments - Posted Jan 23, 2010

December 2009

Relieving Stress on Insulin-Producing Cells May Prevent Diabetes

BOSTON, Mass. - Dec. 23, 2009 - Cells in your body are constantly churning out poisonous forms of oxygen (oxidants) and mopping them up with a countervailing force of proteins and chemicals (anti-oxidants). This balancing act of oxidative stress is particularly likely to go haywire in beta cells, the insulin-producing cells that malfunction and then start to die off in type 2 diabetes.

comments 2 comments - Posted Dec 29, 2009

Cancer Drug May Slow Body's Rejection of Beta Cells in Type 1

Rituxamab, a drug that treats lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, may soon be used to help combat the destruction of pancreatic beta cells in newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes. Researchers at Indiana University have found that the drug, originally developed and sold by Genentech as Rituxan, temporarily slows or stops the destruction of the 10 or 20 percent of beta cells that type 1s typically have remaining when they are first diagnosed.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 21, 2009

JDRF Announces Diabetes Research Program with Johnson & Johnson

NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2009 - The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide, said today that it will begin working with The Johnson & Johnson Corporate Office of Science and Technology, and its affiliates, to speed the development of drug targets and pathways to promote the survival and function of insulin-producing cells in people who have diabetes.  The program will look to fund research at academic centers around the world that could eventually lead to novel drug targets and industry collaborations for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

comments 2 comments - Posted Dec 19, 2009

Airman Injured in Afghanistan Receives Unprecedented Islet Cell Transplant

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A 21-year old Airman severely wounded in Afghanistan is recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after several surgeries and an unprecedented transplant.

comments 2 comments - Posted Dec 17, 2009

September 2009

Promising Pancreate Creates New Islets

One thing that really frustrates people with diabetes mellitus is the biopharma industry's focus on treatments rather than cures. A cure is what the diabetes community wants, not another band-aid. So the existence of a biopharma company that calls itself "CureDM" is promising, and its first product, Pancreate, seems to be on its way to fulfilling that promise.

comments 21 comments - Posted Sep 28, 2009

Diabetes in a Dish: Steps Toward a Cure

By reprogramming skin cells from people with type 1 diabetes, scientists have produced beta cells that secrete insulin in response to changes in glucose levels. Dr. Douglas Melton and his colleagues at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute started by using the skin cells to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Once they had iPS cells, the researchers manipulated them into developing into pancreatic islet (beta) cells.

comments 4 comments - Posted Sep 19, 2009

August 2009

To be or not to be... a pancreatic beta cell

Our genes are like a recipe for a human. It's a very complicated recipe, determining how much of this protein and how much of that enzyme need to be added into the mix in order for us to function properly, but our genes are pretty good at getting it right. Although we are still learning how the recipe works, what ingredients (gene products) are involved, and when are they are produced, our knowledge is growing fast.  

comments 2 comments - Posted Aug 28, 2009

Scientists Find That a Single Gene Can Convert Pancreatic Alpha Cells Into Betas in Lab Mice

There's a gene whose name you should remember because it could mark a crucial point in the war on type 1 diabetes.

comments 3 comments - Posted Aug 13, 2009

MRI May Join the Diagnostic Toolkit for Diabetes

A study from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston says that magnetic resonance imaging could become a useful tool for diagnosing diabetes and helping doctors determine the proper course of treatment.

comments 3 comments - Posted Aug 8, 2009

July 2009

Protein Build-Up in Baboons' Pancreases Could Hold a Key to the Onset of Type 2 Diabetes

A protein that builds up in the pancreases of baboons and leads to the suppression of insulin-producing beta cells, may provide one of the most significant indicators yet for predicting the onset of type 2 diabetes.

comments 1 comment - Posted Jul 28, 2009

Dr. Trucco's Quest: Find a Vaccine Against Type 1 Diabetes Based on a Patient's Own Blood

Of all the quests that researchers have undertaken in search of a cure or decisive treatment for type 1 diabetes, the search for a vaccine has to be the boldest. But how would you develop such a vaccine, and how would it work?

comments 2 comments - Posted Jul 9, 2009

March 2009

JDRF-Funded Study Takes First Step Toward Development of Medicines That Can Regenerate Pancreases

Researchers funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation have found two chemical compounds that can trigger the growth of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The discovery could become the basis for medicines designed to regenerate the pancreas in people with type 1 diabetes.

comments 9 comments - Posted Mar 11, 2009

March 2008

The Cure: The Slow Road to Hope

Talk of a cure has been around forever. Sometimes it seems as if the cure is a constantly receding dream, always ten years away or just around the next corner.

comments 12 comments - Posted Mar 9, 2008

July 2007

Students Invent a Protective Pouch to Hold Transplanted Beta Cells

A team of five seniors and two freshmen at Johns Hopkins University has devised a little "pouch" to hold microcapsules of beta cells in the portal vein, from which the cells can send out insulin while safely protected inside. It's made by sandwiching a porous cylinder of nylon mesh between two cylindrical metal stents, similar to the ones that are used to keep clogged blood vessels open.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jul 23, 2007

June 2007

Glucose Triggers the Development of Embryonic Beta Cells

A new study out of London and Paris indicates in the developing embryo, beta cells form in the pancreas in response to the presence of glucose. Glucose triggers a gene called Neurogenin3 to switch on another gene, neuroD, which is critical for the normal development of beta cells. If glucose levels are low, the gene doesn't switch on and the beta cells don't develop.

comments 0 comments - Posted Jun 18, 2007

May 2007

Students Invent a Protective Pouch to Hold Transplanted Beta Cells
Students Invent a Protective Pouch to Hold Transplanted Beta Cells

A team of five seniors and two freshman at Johns Hopkins University has devised a little “pouch” to hold microcapsules of beta cells in the portal vein, from which the cells can send out insulin while safely protected inside.

comments 0 comments - Posted May 18, 2007

February 2007

Company Takes Charge in Effort to Convert Embryonic Stem Cells to Islets

Novocell, Inc., a San Diego, California-based stem cell engineering company, announced on October 19, 2006, the development of a process that “efficiently converts human embryonic stem cells into insulin-producing pancreatic endocrine cells.”

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2007

March 2004

Study Attempts to Create New Beta Cells

Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals is sponsoring a new study on the safety and efficacy of INGAP-peptide.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 2004

February 2002

A New 'Morning-After' Diabetes Shot Stops Beta-Cell Destruction in Adults

Five years ago, when Dana Elias, PhD, first clutched a publication reporting that a synthetic peptide had halted beta-cell destruction in mice that already were showing high blood-glucose levels, she felt a shiver of excitement. She had helped develop the synthetic peptide, called DiaPep277.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2002

September 2000

What is the C-peptide Test?

The precursor to insulin produced by the pancreas's beta cells is a peptide chain known as proinsulin. Made up of amino acids bound into a u-shape by a connecting polypeptide, proinsulin is stored in beta cells until a glucose load demands the release of insulin. At this point, the connecting molecule is broken off the bottom of the "u"-its shape earning it the moniker C-peptide-freeing the insulin molecule for secretion.

comments 0 comments - Posted Sep 1, 2000

August 2000

Scientists Successfully Grow Beta Cells

Scientists at the University of California at San Diego recently announced that they have successfully grown beta cells that can produce insulin. The finding may eliminate one of the biggest obstacles in making islet transplantation a viable treatment for diabetes.

comments 0 comments - Posted Aug 1, 2000

February 2000

Subjects in Honeymoon Phase Needed in Type 1 Drug Trial

A promising drug trial at the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center needs children, aged 8 and older, who have recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, to participate.

comments 0 comments - Posted Feb 1, 2000

December 1999

Doctors Urged to Not Treat Type 2 Diabetes as

Dr. David Matthews, chairman of the Oxford Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, says beta-cell deterioration is "virtually inevitable" in persons with type 2 diabetes. He urges doctors who treat type 2s to refrain from telling them that they only have "mild diabetes," and instead tell them that they are still at considerable risk for diabetic complications.

comments 0 comments - Posted Dec 1, 1999

March 1999

Questions and Answers

Q: I just finished reading the November 1998 issue of DIABETES HEALTH regarding the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDF) islet transplantation $20 million advance. I didn't see anything about the cloning of islets, however, which I had read about in a previous issue of DIABETES HEALTH. I am curious to know how realistic the cloning process is, and when we might see it actually take place.

comments 0 comments - Posted Mar 1, 1999

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