There Will Be a Diabetes Cure

Tom Karlya-Vice President Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, Inc.

| Aug 24, 2011

Will there be a cure for diabetes?  Is an artificial pancreas a cure?  Was insulin a cure?  Let's begin on the correct platform.  You may have an opinion on what a cure is that completely differs from mine, and that's okay.

My definition of a cure for diabetes is that my children will be free of all the possible complications and day-to-day worries and management that they have endured since the day they were diagnosed.  I want to get back to where our lives were before they were diagnosed.   I don't care what accomplishes that, and I also don't know how we'll get there. If anyone tells you that they know, honestly, I believe that they are misinformed.

I have done exhaustive work to find out where we are, and I have to be completely honest with you:  If someone says that a biomechanical cure is any closer than a biological one, I don't believe it.  There is no, zero, zilch proof that either will be here in three years, five years, or even ever.  The key word here is "proof."   And  the word "here" means that people with diabetes, kids included, are using the cure on an everyday basis.  It doesn't mean that the cure is in phase I, II, or III clinical trials, or even awaiting FDA approval.  It means that it's in everyday use.  Period.  

Technology can be good, but better technology to achieve better management of diabetes is not a cure. Both---I said both ---are important, but they are different.   It is important for the work to continue to aid advancements in both better management and a cure.   Anyone out there with diabetes deserves both, and nothing short of success in both is acceptable.  The one defining difference in my definition of a cure is that we are done.  Nothing more is needed.

Now the question at hand is: Will there be a cure?  I believe with all my heart and soul that there will be a cure for diabetes. Let me tell you why.   This is not some pie-in-the-sky, dreamy-eyed approach.   Having two kids with type 1 diabetes, I have been, unfortunately, at this for over 19 years.  I, and many others, have heard the word "cure" so many times that it sticks in my throat.  Too many have thrown it around too much over the years and at times have outright lied.  Now listen to me very carefully.   Please forget anything you have heard for the next few minutes and continue reading with an open mind.

There are people out there, a good handful in fact, who have type 1 and had an islet cell transplant and actually lived for a time without taking insulin shots because the islet cells were functioning.  

Many, and I mean many, people have been told that islet cell transplantation failed.  It didn't.  It showed that a biological means could work.  Were the patients on immunosuppressants?  Yes, they were.   Was it a cure?  No, it was not.  If the islet cells had functioned without the use of immunosuppressant drugs, you bet it would have been a cure.  Yes, that is a big "if," but they functioned.

Transplantation showed that there are hurdles that need to be overcome:  A plentiful supply of islet cells or another insulin-producing mechanism; a method greatly curtailing the need for immunosuppression; and the need to make sure that the body does not attack all over again----big hurdles.  But failed?  No, it did not fail.  In some, it worked for two years or more.    

Did people think it would work forever?  My answer to that is a conversation I had with Ken Bernstein, a conversation that will stay burned in my mind forever.   I was speaking to Ken a few months after he received an islet transplant.  I said to him that he must feel great.  "Tom, I do feel great," he said, and a huge smile came across his face.  "But I didn't do this for me.  I did this for Kaitlyn (my daughter) and those like her.  Do you know how much we will learn through this?  This is but a step."  

In my car that night, my body shook as I cried.  Ken and everyone who received an islet cell transplant are incredible heroes.   "This is but a step."

With so much happening in various cell replacement strategies and genetic manipulation, engineering, and all around examination, I do believe a breakthrough will occur.  I have also toured the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI).  Now it's no secret that I work for the DRI, but let's be very clear about this; I work there because I believe in it.  If someone showed me some place better, I would be gone in a New York minute.  Those who know me know that I have done it before.  This is not just my job. This is my life.

I am familiar to many because of my involvement in the diabetes online community (DOC).  (Much of this article, in fair disclosure, I wrote for my column at dLife.)  I have, since my early days with Children With Diabetes, been known as the Diabetes Dad.  Because of my DOC involvement, I read many people's writings, and I am often amazed at  their insistence not to hear anyone else's opinion.  Sharing begins with discussions.  Education begins with questioning.    

Let me tell you what you will find at the DRI and why I encourage you to see it firsthand.  When you tour the DRI, you'll see the dedication and the passion of the scientists.  You can feel the drive and the single focus on curing diabetes.   The collaboration is second to none.   All three stages of research--basic, preclinical, and clinical--are happening in one building.  The research moves up the ladder, or it moves out.

Finding a cure is as much about philosophy as it is about breakthrough.   It's about collaboration. Why would anyone support a project in which the researchers are not willing to share their findings?  It makes no sense.  If you do not sign, literally, that you are willing to share your findings with your DRI colleagues and with others in the scientific community, then you do not work at the DRI.

Why is it that the JDRF, the ADA, the NIH, and so many other organizations and private donors fund the work of the DRI?  I'll tell you why.  It's because the research is that good, that strong, that collaborative, and surely worthy of a closer look.  The researchers are awarded grants based on the merit of their work.  The DRI is the main reason I believe that there will be a cure in my children's lifetime.   It is what happens within those walls that gives me the hope at which my heart clutches.    

I assure you of this:  Anyone who is hoping for a cure should come and tour the DRI.  Not because you should give a donation, not because you should run an event, and not even because you should be active.  But in this day and age, when it is suggested by so many that the flame of a cure is diminishing, you should tour the DRI because you will touch hope.  You owe it to yourself and whomever is the reason that you are in this battle.  

Those involved with supporting the DRI, staff and volunteer alike, are not frowned upon should they challenge and question our scientists. Instead, it is encouraged.  For it is only through questioning that one can open up to learn.  Dr. Camillo Ricordi and Foundation President Bob Pearlman (yes, he is my boss) are constantly thinking and inquiring about how to move all of the processes for a cure forward, and they entertain contributions from anyone who has an idea.  Nothing is off the table.  

I'm furious that so many have given up hope for a cure.  I do not care the reason.  No one should be told anything other than that this fight will not stop until one hundred percent effort is given to a cure.  No one should be told so many broken promises that it breaks their spirit.  No one should have their spirit broken so many times that they just do not believe it anymore.  If anything, more needs to be done, not less.  And it should be done now, not tomorrow when the economy gets better.  Diabetes does not care about the economy, remember that always.  It is the dollars of philanthropy that will fund fabulous ideas.

The DRI opened its doors for one reason, and that focus has not changed one iota, ever.  And that is the way it will be until they are closed for good because the job is done.  Diabetes is a war.  I do not care how many battles it takes, and I have no time to hear rhetoric. I have heard it all before.   I, and so many others who are part of the DRI, are in it to end it.

So if your spirit has been broken or you have become jaded because of the years you have been battling diabetes as a parent or a person with diabetes, stop by the DRI and touch the reality of hope.  No matter the odds or what people say, I will continue working, searching, and learning, because this war will be fought until the job is done.  There will be a cure.   I owe that belief to my kids, and I believe it now more than ever.  I am a diabetes dad.

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Categories: , American Diabetes Association (ADA), Children With Diabetes (CWD), Diabetes, Diabetes, Diabetes Cure, Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), Diagnosis, Insulin Cure, JDRF, Kids, NIH, Type 1 Issues


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Comments

Posted by Anonymous on 24 August 2011

I applaud your enthusiasm and committment but at the end of the day, how many auto-immune diseases have actually been "cured"? In what I could find in researching this question, I couldn't find any. A cure is a pipedream but better treatments aren't! Unless they can find the cause of the disease, it won't be cured and trying to simply interrupt the process at or before on-set has failed time and time again. A vaccine might be the answer but if you don't know what causes T1D and/or when the disease will actually "trigger" on-set, even a vaccine is hopeless. Not to mention, all this islet cell replacement gets a lot of press as a potential cure but as long as toxic drugs need to be taken the FDA will never approve it. It's donated money down the drain.

Posted by Anonymous on 24 August 2011

Thanks for writing that article. It is full of hope but rooted in the real world because you live with Diabetes, just like us. It is interesting that you use the expression "if your spirit is broken" because as a Mom to a child with T1D for several years, that is exactly how I feel in recent times. I agree that there will be a cure someday as there is too much research going on into T1D to mean anything else. However in the meantime, it is hard to deal with this chronic condition on a daily basis so articles like yours provide a great lift.. especially when you truly understand the situation.

Posted by Anonymous on 24 August 2011

A cure is decades away at best. While there is a lot of research going on, a lot of it seems to be duplicates of one another. So, I don't believe there is enough "different" research. There is a lot of research happening regarding Cancer but there's still no cure. So a lot doesn't equal process.

Posted by Anonymous on 25 August 2011

I would like to thank the writer of this article for providing me and hopefully many others who are trying really hard to manage their own type one encouragement to continue trying in hopes of living long enough until a cure has been found. Thank you that was greatly needed.

Posted by rightmuch on 25 August 2011

Have to agree with the poster that we're "decades" away. I hate to by cynical, but I don't think we're close. The sad thing is that the innovations that can make it more manageable, i.e. implantable pumps, etc are being hamstrung by the FDA.

Posted by Anonymous on 25 August 2011

I have had T1D for 41 years now and since I was diagnosed at age 9 people have been telling me that the cure was 5 years off. Not a whole lot of effort goes into finding a cure for T1 because 1)it is much less widespread than T2 (which gets a lot more attention), and 2)its cause is an extremely complicated issue to solve and not at all well understood.

Posted by Anonymous on 25 August 2011

So, I have had this disease since 1981, started when I was 25. At that time I was told emphatically there would be a cure in 10 years. Been done the cure road many times indeed.
By way of sharing, Dr. Faustman's lab continues to 'move the ball' as well. Her research is quite interesting and from her web page I post the following excerpt:
"In 2001, the Faustman Lab reversed type 1 diabetes in mice with end-stage disease, a project that is now in human clinical trials. Dr. Faustman’s current research continues to focus on uncovering new treatments for type 1 diabetes, as well as searching for therapies for other autoimmune diseases, including Crohn's disease, lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren's syndrome, and multiple sclerosis."
All autoimmune diseases!
The proof of course in in the end game for sure, but her work continues to suggest she is onto something!

Posted by Anonymous on 25 August 2011

Have you heard of Dr. Faustman? I wished your organization would have helped her, she would be so much farther in her research by now...

Posted by Anonymous on 25 August 2011

I am a mother of a 22 yrs old daughter with type 1 diabetes who live in Indonesia where health is not the issue and we have to face this decease alone without any support from the government nor even doctors wouldn't help much.

Reading ur article was quite a hope but even if it's successfully done I just couldn't imagine how much would it take to have that cure...?? Would that be our hope too...???

Thank u so much for ur encouragement anyway.... We surely need that HOPE....

Posted by Anonymous on 25 August 2011

Please check what LCT Global is doing, it not may the cure (yet), but they are doing something amazing.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 August 2011

I have been TYPE 1 diabetic for 44 years, since the age of 5. THERE WILL NEVER BE A CURE FOR THIS DISEASE BECAUSE IT WOULD AFFECT TOO MANY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS, PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES, MANUFACTURERS, ETC.ITS ALL ABOUT THE BOTTOM LINE AND THIS DISEASE IS TOO MUCH OF A MONEY MAKER TO EVER BE CURED. Do I sound a little bit angry?? You better believe it!! 44 years with this disease and what have these " Researchers" been doing???? Oh! I am an RN,BSN,CDE who had to retire 6yrs. ago because I developed Neuropaty in my feet. God give us strength to endure this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Kathy on 26 August 2011

This is a wonderful article. I had an islet cell transplant and "it worked". I had 2 years with no insulin at all. Now, I take about 10 units/day and have almost perfect control and I feel just great. The immunosuppressants can be challenging, but nearly as much as insulin and uncontrollable blood sugars.

I also applaud the effort to extend hope for the cure. What I have is not the final cure, but it is most certainly an important step toward it. I do feel that I am helping to pave the way for others and at the same time enjoying wonderful health and energy. It is impossible to feel this good and not be hopeful.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 August 2011

HI Tom !! We met many years ago in the FLL at Orlando. I am Graciela from the Dominican Republic and, actually, mother of two (2) kids with T1D.....also my husband now! I really believe that GOd will grant humanity with a cure to this disease within my kids' lifespan ...and reading your sincere and experience-based opinion helps me confirm my faith even more! LET'S KEEP ON PRAYING (and researching)...NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD!!

Posted by Anonymous on 26 August 2011

While I have great respect and support for this research, as a diabetes specialist who has worked with many thousands of people living with Type 1 diabetes, (including many who have passed the 50-year mark), working toward (or hoping for) a "cure" is not real-world day-to-day life. Like any other chronic condition, people live their lives, most are not really sick, they take medication to keep themselves safe, and are aware of factors which can impact their health and functioning. Most people with Type 1 Diabetes with whom I'm worked have a greater appreciation for life, and learn how to take care of themselves, often better than people who take their health for granted. As a fellow parent of a child with a chronic condition (whose health I worry about every day) I've seen how the skills of managing his health are equipping my child to better manage life (including asking for help when he needs it). Striving for a cure can be somewhat abstract. Awareness and advocacy for research and progress on better treatment modalities and improving resources for managing diabetes are vital.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 August 2011

My daughter was seven years old when she was diagnosed with diabetes in 1984. Her endocrinologist back then was with the University of Miami, at the precursor of the DRI. There was much talk of a "cure" within the next 10 years based on the islet cell transplantation trials and even though her doctor cautioned us to not plan on a cure, we were so very hopeful there would be one.

27 years later, we are still hoping, but not expecting one anytime in the near future.

Diabetes is a tough, but not impossible, life companion. I am happy to tell you that, so far, my daughter is doing well and has experienced no diabetes related complications.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 August 2011

Because someday (soon) I also want to say “My son used to have diabetes”. Godspeed to all those who are working for all of us parents and people who live with this 24-7.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 August 2011

A cure is when this curse is gone, eradicated, as if it never existed. And it won't be in my life time, if ever.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 August 2011

Diabetes Dad,
please check out the work of Denise Faustman at Boston Mass General Hospital. Lee Ioaca has funded much of her research and they are moving into Phase II of the study. Her study so far has reverse the T-cell destruction of beta cells which in turn has allowed them to actually regenerate and function once again. No immunosuppressants, or any other hurdles to overcome. The "medicine" is the same vaccine used for TB, and it's safety has been proven already as it's been around for 100 years.
If the DRI hasn't already heard of this study, please tell someone about it. They have $8 mill of the $25 mill to start the next phase, next year. I personally have put all my "eggs" in this basket as it is the most promising potential "cure" out there in my opinion (and Ioacoca's).
If Medtronic, Lily, Roche, Novo Nordisk really wanted to make diabetics' lives better, they'd stop all the, mostly useless, research into "new" technology and donate their investment dollars to the Faustman Trials.
Another bonus: this vaccine is already in existence so no company will be able to charge unfathomable amounts of money for it with a patent.
I'm an RN and have had Type 1 for 30 years and have visited Denise Faustman in her lab where I asked her, "So do you think there'll be a cure within MY lifetime?" I'm 41 BTW. She's in late 50's maybe. She replied, "OH! I'm counting on it being done in MY lifetime". Needless to say I held the tears back until I got to my car and did the ugly cry for a while.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 August 2011

I think it's great that people have hope and should continue to but at the same time we cant just have hope - we still have to continue managing the disease that we have. At least for now, and perhaps forever, it's a part of me and I have to accept that as being the case. you call this a war, and you will continue fighting it, but sadly i have to say that the war ended when my body decided to attack itself and was diagnosed with diabetes

Posted by Florian on 26 August 2011

Well written and well said. I will go one step further and say that I expect to see a cure in my lifetime. I have been a practicing T1 for 44 years. I was diagnosed at age 30. Like others before me, I urge DRI to put some money into the Faustman Lab at MGH. I am running out of lifetime :)

Posted by Anonymous on 26 August 2011

An inspiring article full of hope, bought tears to my eyes, but as a mother of a child with diabetes I feel that more research is going into selling BGL testers, pumps etc. The drug companies benefit if there is
no cure and sadly there will not be a cure within the next 50 years.
A lot of the research is duplicated and money vanishes with no result.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 August 2011

Yeah... why won't the DRI donate to Faustman or assist with her??? Aren't we ALL in this for a cure regardless of who accomplishes it?? Diabetes Dad..please respond to this... I need to know.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 August 2011

We've known for decades that Type 1 diabetes is caused by white blood cells, our defenders against infection, going haywire to attack the insulin-producing beta cells. Until we stop these attacks, we are not cured. I don't care how many pumps or transplants or stem cells you use, you ain't cured! (There is a doctor charging $30,000 for stem cell in-office procedure using local anesthetic. You go to Tijuana or Santa Domingo.) Dr Faustman used to do implants till she saw the beneficial results were only temporary. She and her dedicated Harvard team at U of Mass. Hospital have already made significant progress, BUT THEY NEED OUR $$! At last a cure is within our grasp. I no longer contribute to anyplace else.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 August 2011

Great article and keep up the good work. I have had diabetes for 42 years and have neices who have it.
It is a daily battle. Heard recently that a mother can store her cord blood for 18 years so it could possibly be used in the future for stem cell etc use for her child if for example they develop diabetes and there is a chance that this will help. I will certainly recommend this to my children to do for my future grandchildren. Keep up your inspiring attitude! Jacqui

Posted by Anonymous on 28 August 2011

Darwin has the cure. Enough said!

Posted by Anonymous on 28 August 2011

There are two types of suffering; 1) the kind one asks for, and 2) the kind one does not ask for. I recently began insulin pump therapy and have come to realize that all of my diabetic life choices have yet to be exhausted. Now, my blood sugars are way better controlled. If a better form of therapy comes around, I will not be so closed minded, cynical, or jaded with negativity. I will be front and center for treatment. Sign me up. Like everybody, I'm waiting on a cure or something like it!

Posted by Anonymous on 28 August 2011

There is an Apple App called Glucose Companion, it is free now for a limited time, it can track detailed info of glucose, helps me and my doctor a lot.

Posted by Anonymous on 30 August 2011

I have read the 27 posted comments and I too have had T1 for 30 years. I am very thankful for all the types of devices we have to manage the disease and it does take a lot of effort. I do it also for my family...to stay as healthy as possible so I can live to see my grandchildren grow to adults. A cure?...over the years we have had hopes of one and many false hopes. I believe that research does need to continue but our society is all dollars and cents....of which a cure will dimish that bottom line.

Posted by Anonymous on 30 August 2011

There's no profit in a cure! Diabetes is an auto-immune disease which can't be cured. No auto-immune diseases have ever been cured. The body is too smart and simply trying to interrupt the process isn't enough. Needles and pumps are a joke because they deliver insulin sub-q which is dangerous and physiologically incorrect. Until there is a non-invasive treatment, diabetes will continue to bury us all financially and take our lives, piece by piece. I don't believe in fluff or sugar coating the so called "positives" of living with this disease. There is nothing positive. Get over yourselves and hold research accountable. It over promises and under-delivers and if they actually had to show a ROI it wouldn't even be pursued, especially regarding auto-immune diseases.

Where is the opinion from ADA, JDRF and DRI regarding a drug called DiaPEP277(?) which was recently announced by Israeli scientists as a "cure" in the headlines but once you read the article you realize it will be another failure (IMO).

So, this is your life with diabetes; outrageous headlines, and ridiculous claims in order to boost the bottom lines, encourage false hopes and diminish your spirits because in the end, you are still left suffering, piece by piece.

Posted by Anonymous on 31 August 2011

I am happy to know that someone is enthusiastic. I find it hard to be so positive. I remember when Dr. Faustmann announced that diabetes had been cured in mice. Since that time I have not heard anything. So many people are sick, maimed, dying, or dead. Why can't everyone looking for a cure pool their resources, money and scientific knowledge and find away to help people who are suffering? Does anyone know what is going on with Dr. Alan Vinick's research?

Posted by Anonymous on 1 September 2011

I don't know what to believe anymore. At this point I'd be more then happy with glucose responsive insulin (smart insulin) which is where I had most of my hopes anyway. They were bought by Merck nearly a year ago and were claiming to be ready for human trials in Europe but so far no news of that. I support Dr Faustman every year as I find her whole theory very interesting and now with some actual clinical results in more so. The bottom line is sadly most of these potential treatments are long shots to get commercialized. If you have researched diabetes potential cures on the web over the last decade there have been literally 100's of claims from hundreds of companies many to just disappear. Remember Mircroislet? I bought stock in them. At this point the obvious most advanced would have to be LCT. They may eventually get there but something like that won't come cheap and it may be some time to get a US approval if it ever gets approved at all. There is one company here in the US called Viacyte that is working with Encapsulated stem cells and are about two years from human trials. It looks promising but something like that if it proves safe and effective won't come cheap! Nothing against the DRI but they are well behind many of the others IMO and I don't see them coming through with the breakthrough.

Posted by Anonymous on 3 September 2011

Dear Mr. Karlya, I thought I'd give you one more source to look into. It is a book written by an independent researcher who recently passed away at the age of 80 after a lifetime of research into the causes of diseases. She made some rather remarkable discoveries. Her name is Dr. Hulda R. Clark, and one of her books is entitled, The Cure For All Diseases. It has been translated into several languages. Although her book is based on hard science, it is written in lay language so that almost anyone would be able to benefit from it. If you read the first 20 pages, you will see how she came to make her discoveries. Then, you can turn to the section on diabetes or other disease of interest, and see how she has helped many people reverse their diabetes as well as quite a few other diseases. Perhaps, this information will help your children to diminish the effects of having this disease and possibly lower their insulin requirements. I wish you and your family well. -Ann N.

Posted by Anonymous on 3 September 2011

Dear Mr. Karlya,
One other book that you might want to look at is A Promise Made, A Promise Kept: One Son's Quest for the Cause and Cure of Diabetes by Dr. James Chappell. This author's mother died with diabetes. Before she died he made a promise to her that sooner or later he would find what cures diabetes. Even though he lost his mother to diabetes, he eventually kept that promise. Maybe this book will help your children also. -Ann N.

Posted by JDCA2025 on 6 September 2011

This is a fascinating article that provides great insight into the hope for a cure. Even though one is not on the horizon, there are dedicated people working towards it, and the diabetes foundations are receiving a good amount of money. But we have to make sure that we make the most of these resources and put as much focus as possible towards the most likely source for a cure. There has to be a target, and a specific goal. Without one, the danger exists that the momentum can be spread apart and fade. The stronger diabetes community we build, and the more we push for their voices to be heard by the major institutions, the more fuel we can add towards the drive for a cure.

Posted by Anonymous on 8 September 2011

There won't be a cure for diabetes, just like there hasn't been a cure for many other autoimmune diseases no matter how much money is thrown its way. While both are not an autoimmue disease, Aids and Cancer have dwarfed Type 1 diabetes in research dollars and they are no closer to a cure, but they do have better treatments as a result! And, while there are a lot of dedicated researchers, only academia has benefitted from all of this "research". We continue to deliver insulin sub-q which is harmful, we continue to spend, spend, spend increasingly more and more $$$$$$$$$$$ on managing this insidious illenss. Enough is enough, start getting more cost effective treatments to the bedside. Otherwise, people will continue to look at cutting corners on managing their disease and then the rates and costs of complication related illness/trauma will rise and have additional impacts on the consumer by an already greed driven healthcare system.

Posted by JDCA2025 on 9 September 2011

I agree that we need to have the right balance - we can not forsake all treatment and forget about helping people manage their condition. However, a cure would hopefully eliminate many, if not all of the potential complications with diabetes, and remove a person's insulin dependency. Even the people who have a near-perfect handle on their diabetes, something which is extremely hard to accomplish, would benefit greatly from the discovery of a cure. Not to mention developing countries where the situation is much worse. People out there especially need a cure, because the current situation makes it hard to provide them with the insulin and management they'll need to keep it in check for their entire lives.

Yes, diabetes is one of the many diseases without a cure, or a cure on the horizon. That being said, I don't believe we should use less efforts and less money in its pursuit - the opposite actually. New discoveries are being made, and science is advancing - the momentum is there, but we must use it to its full capacity.

Posted by Anonymous on 20 September 2011

Hi Diabetes Dad. I was diagnosed with diabetes on my 18th birthday, 28 years now.

I have spoken with several people at JDRF, who tell me that their strategy is to work only with diabetes products that can be commercialized. They see their strategy as a "win-win" for diabetics and Big Medicine; diabetics get new and useful products, and Big Medicine gets high profits. Two people I've asked at JDRF tell me that it doesn't matter how much the products cost, because they fight to make sure the products are covered by insurance. As a non-insured diabetic, I am not on JDRF's list of beneficiaries.

Because of this close partnership with industry, JDRF (along with many other organizations) does not work with Denise Faustman. Whether or not her research cures diabetes, it will probably never be profitable for a pharmaceutical company, resting as it does on an old drug for which the patents have expired. Similarly, Faustman's research falls outside the purview of a government grant; government grants tend to go for basic research, not clinical trials. It's quite possible that for these reasons Dr. Faustman's therapy will never make it to market. Much of the U.S.'s medical research never makes it outside our university research labs because it can never be profitable.

I would urge anyone reading this comment to donate to the Faustman Lab. Faustman's research, if it is successful, will only be so if diabetics are willing to earn the money for it themselves (as we have been doing). Only diabetics stand to immediately benefit from what the Faustman Lab is doing (although it's easy to imagine that much of it will change the face of medicine), and no one else will foot the bill for us. Pull something out of your garage, throw it on eBay or Craigslist, and give the proceeds to the Faustman Lab. It's our best shot so far.

Posted by Anonymous on 21 September 2011

I agree with anyone with enough Gray Matter to understand Diabetes is a condition, not a disease. Diabetes is of course scientifically tenuously complicated. For a large number of overweight, outright poor diet eating people you should not be surprised when you develop diabetes. I do not mean to over- simplify the problem because genetics play the largest role in diabetes development but if over ones lifetime, especially the first 30-35 years, diet and health is strictly regulated, I think the incidence of diabetes would diminish proportionately. So if your children are at risk from genetic factors especially, the best thing you cn do for them is teach them to limit carbohydrate intake. It may be something that saves or at the very least improves their lives tremendously and teaches future generations that nutrition is the "master key" to the prevention and or treatment of dozens of auto immune mediated disease. I was diagnosed at 33 years of age and had a horrible diet but a lot of exercise yet I allowed myself to get 20-30 pounds overweight and had the carbohydrate rich diet. If I could only go back and teach myself what I know now I may have been able to minimize or eliminate the risk. To those of you who think this idea is over simplified- maybe it is but for those at genetic risk or even poor health and diet were to take this advice and submit to a pre/post diabetic study on nutrition and genetics on diabetes, especially TYPE 2 such as myself, we would contribute a huge amount of data to DIABETES RESEARCH and hope for prevention and or cure. Until then if you have diabetes, especially type 2, consider yourself part of natures plan for population control. No amount of insulin, insulin pumps etc. can give me the quality of life before diabetes and other auto immune disorders so if you are genetically predisposed to diabetes-BEWARE. If you are young, learn how to control carbohydrate/fat intake, stay active and enjoy the good life you were given. LIVE, LOVE, PROCREATE AND EDUCATE FUTURE GENERATIONS UNTIL DIABETES IS BUT A FOOTNOTE IN HISTORY. T-Grinnell Rochester, Minnesota. Life is extremely precious....

Posted by Anonymous on 16 March 2012

I have to disagree with your implication that the people with functioning islet or whole pancreas transplants were 'cured' while these lasted, though at the cost of toxic immunosuppression, whose complications are in fact worse than those of uncontrolled diabetes itself. The problem with islet and pancreas transplants, in addition to the fact that they don't last, they often don't provide complete independence from exogenous insulin, and they require toxic immunosuppression, is that they also don't completely halt the development of complications. This may in part be due to the phenomenon of 'hyperglycemic memory,' as it has been called, in which prior hyperglycemia continues to have effects after it has been ameliorated, but it also seems to be caused by both the continuing autoimmunity which first caused the diabetic state, as well as by genetic factors inherited along with the genes which predispose people to develop type 1 diabetes in the first place. There is as yet no way to correct for these factors, and merely correcting the characteristic hyperglycemia resulting from the primary autoimmune disease and genetic predispositions which cause diabetes treats only one symptom, but not the whole disease process.

Posted by Anonymous on 23 August 2012

Humans are too greedy to produce a cure, no profit , no cure.

Posted by Anonymous on 5 February 2013

I learned that type 1D is more prominent the further north you go. I was also told the onset hits in the colder months. Has anyone done any research as to whether or not pets have anything to do with this sudden auto-immune attack occurrence? I have a good reason behind this thought, I'm just curious if anyone has knowledge of any research being done in this area?


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