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They've Done it in Mice... Now They Plan to Cure Type 1 in Humans

May 30, 2008

As a result, the beta cells regenerated and were able to begin producing insulin - essentially reversing the diabetes.

Researchers at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh have started an FDA-approved phase 1 test in humans of a lab procedure that successfully reversed type 1 diabetes in mice.

In the original procedure, scientists extracted dendritic cells from the blood of  a diabetic mouse. Dendritic cells are immune cells that identify foreign substances and spur infection-fighting T cells to defend the body. Recent research has shown that in mice with diabetes, dendritic cells mistake islet cells in the pancreas for foreign invaders, then wrongly incite attacks upon them—proof of the autoimmune nature of type 1 diabetes.

The scientists “enhanced” the extracted cells with “blockers” that inhibit T cell response, then injected the treated cells back into the mouse. Over several weeks, the beefed-up dendritic cells were able to completely shut off  the T cell attacks on the pancreatic beta cells. As a result, the beta cells regenerated and were able to begin producing insulin—essentially reversing the diabetes.

Insulin Will Assist Dendritic Cell “Targeting”

The phase 1 trial, which began in March, involves 15 type 1 patients over 18 years of age. The trial team is led by Dr. Massimo Trucco, the Hillman Professor of Pediatric Immunology at Children’s Hospital and a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Trucco and his team want to combine the dendritic cells with small portions of insulin, in the hope that the insulin will guide the dendritic cells directly to the T cells. Adding the insulin will ensure that the dendritic cells specifically block T cell destruction of the beta cells and do not otherwise interrupt the immune system.


Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Other Lab Tests, Type 1 Issues



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Comments

Posted by Anonymous on 31 May 2008

I am SO ready. How do I get in the trials? I know I get "too exdcited" about these things, but..
Did the mice need to go on immunosuppressants?'I'm not ready for that....an d I wish aarticles had more info in them

Posted by Anonymous on 31 May 2008

Very good news. I will be waiting for positive results.
thank you.
pmendez

Posted by wilbye on 31 May 2008

I am ready to be in this trial - I live one hour from Pittsburgh, I'm retired, I've had type 1 diabetes for 61 years, and I'm ready for a change! How do I get into this trial?

Posted by Anonymous on 9 June 2008

There was no mention if this therapy involved any immunosuppressive drugs, which would stil make this only a partial cure. Some more info is required.

Posted by Anonymous on 4 July 2008

does this doctor send out e-newsletters about his progress.? Who is funding this trial?

Posted by Anonymous on 23 July 2008

So what happened with this idea?

Posted by Anonymous on 12 August 2008

Anybody hear of any updates on this test?

Posted by Anonymous on 15 August 2008

I'm betting a big pharma company bought the rights to the methodology and has buried it in the vault along with the 1000 MPG car and the formula for cold fusion.


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