This was the header of the article in Minneapolis/St. Paul's newspaper a couple days ago: Way to Reverse Diabetes? Drug Shows Promise. Naturally, it caught my attention.
"An 80-year old drug used to protect people against tuberculosis may help reverse Type 1 diabetes, the most severe form of the disease, in patients who have had it for years, an early study in the six atients found.
The medicine, known as bacillus Calmette-Guerin or BCG, killed abnormal white blood cells that interfere with insulin production in the pancreas, said a study presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting in San Diego. Patients getting two small doses four weeks apart showed signs of restored insulin prdouction for about a week, said Denise Faustman, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Immunobiology Laboratory.
While many researchers are looking for ways to stop Type 1 diabetes in newly diagnosed patients who still produce some insulin naturally, there are few options for people who have had the disease for more than a decade, she said. The findings suggest it may be possible to regenerate the critical pancreatic cells, she said.
"The trial effectively is showing for the first time that the pancreas can turn on briefly after the first wave of killing the bad T cells," those that attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, she said. A second, larger trial is in development, she said.
Here's more about the trials: http://bcgclinicaltrials.com/default.aspx
Interesting and hope-inducing!