As I mentioned previously, I am going after exclusive Type 1 diabetic stories. At the top of my list are cures - either
potential or already "discovered." I put discovered in quotation marks because those are generally natural cures, which do not work.
I sent out a list of questions last week to Dr. Denise
Faustman with the Faustman Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and to Prof. Doug Melton with the Melton Lab at Harvard University. So far, I have not gotten a response, but I am a patient woman - also persistent. I understand that as researchers and scientists, they are busy, busy people. I just have to make sure that I am not forgotten in their day-to-day works.
The questions I sent to them include:
1) Please explain your research.
2) Is this a cure? Why or why not?
3) How do you compare your research to others that claim to have either cured or are close to a cure?
4) How far away from you from clinical trials? What are the criteria for the participants? How long with the trials last?
5) Do you have any reason to believe the FDA and/or pharmaceutical companies will prevent your study/trials from being fully realized? i.e. available to the public.
6) What do you have to say to Type 1's who believe no cure will be found because there is not enough profit?
7) What made you begin this study?
8) (This was exclusively for Melton) How will your cure solve the immune system problem associated with Type 1?
This is the one that shows the most promise to me. Faustman believes the pancreas can regenerate the insulin producing cells. And with injections of BCG, which is a generic tuberculosis vaccine, the immune system has shown signs of ceasing the attack on the body.
No matter how many pancreases you get transplanted into your body or how many drugs you take to generate insulin production, you still have to deal with the immune system waging war. This study seeks to solve that.
An update from Faustman on the Facebook page states that they are seeking participants for the first clinical trial. Participants must be 18 or older and have had Type 1 diabetes for less than 20 years. If you are interested, call 617-726-4084 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include Faustman Lab Research interest as the subject.
Melton began his research after two of his children were diagnosed with Type 1. He is working primarily with stem cells. Now, this will not take care of the immune system, which is why I reserved the eighth question for him.
I have not been following the Melton Lab research closely (I've been following Faustman for years), but I will be looking into it more as time goes on.
Dr. Anath Shalev
Shalev is working at the University of Alabama and is using the blood pressure drug Verafomil to try to stop the immune system's destruction. This is the latest Type 1 cure that has popped up into the news. I tried to get in touch with Shalev, but was unsuccessful. I called the contact person - Kentress Davison - and was sent to voicemail. However, in that voicemail, some participant criteria was given trials. The criteria I heard was participants must be newly diagnosed and between the ages of 19 and 45 and be within three months of their last screening visit.
If you fit that, you can call 205-934-4112 or 205-975-9308.
This concludes my work so far into these articles for Type 1. I hope to give you more as time goes on. For my next article, I am hoping to get answers to questions regarding the rising cost of insulin.