Type 1 diabetes is one of the most widely spread diseases in the Unites States. The newest statistical data shows that 1.25 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the United States alone. A vaccine used for over 100 years ago for tuberculosis has been proven to reverse this disease. This vaccine is now used in the treatment of bladder cancer and is considered to have no side-effects.
At the 75th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association, was announced that FDA will examine the vaccine. They are planning to test it on 150 people who are in an advanced stage of type 1 diabetes and how they will react.
The body of a person who has type 1 diabetes, does not produce insulin as a result of the immune system destroying the cells that produce insulin. Then, T cells are produced, and these cells cause problems in the pancreatic islets, where insulin is created. This vaccine eliminates these T cells.
After the injection, patients had an increase in the levels of a substance called tumor necrosis factor. The increased level of TNF in the system destroys the T cells that are blocking the production of insulin.
In a previous examination, patients were injected with the tuberculosis vaccine twice during a period of 4 weeks. The results confirmed that the dangerous T cells were gone. Even more surprising was the fact that some patients began to secrete insulin on their own.
Dr. Denise Faustman, head of the Massachusetts General Hospital Immunobiology Laboratory in Boston, couldn’t hide her excitement about the results the BCG vaccine showed.
She explained that in the first test, they revealed a statistically important response to BSG, but their purpose in this first phase is creating a long-lasting therapeutic response. She adds that they will be testing again people who have been suffering from this disease for many years. Dr. Faustman also says that this is not some kind of a preventive measure, but a regimen that will treat type 1 diabetes, even in its advanced stage.
There will also be a new trial, with the same procedure as the previous one and participants at the age between 18 and 60.