There are 1,25 million people in America alone suffering from type 1 diabetes. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin is a vaccine that has been used for tuberculosis 100 years ago and this vaccine seems to be the solution for this problem. Nowadays, this vaccine is used as a treatment for bladder cancer. To add, this vaccine is believed that it is safe.
There was an announcement yesterday during the 75th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association which said 150 people with advanced type 1 diabetes are going to receive this vaccine as part of a test.
In case of type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce insulin because the cells that create insulin are killed by the immune system. However, T cells are created and they lead to issues in the pancreatic islets. Insulin is produced here. This vaccine eliminates T cells.
Diabetic patient who were injected this vaccine had a growth in the amount of tumor necrosis factor. When the levels of THF are increased, the T cells, which prevent insulin production, are destroyed.
Moreover, patients were also injected with this vaccine in a previous trial, and the results proved that the T cells are destroyed. Certain people even began secreting insulin by themselves.
Dr. Denise Faustman, who is a director of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston is very happy with the results.
She adds that in the preliminary trial there have been a statistically important response to this vaccine. However, the goal is to make a long-lasting medicinal response and she adds that they will continue their work with people who have type 1 diabetes. She noted that they are trying to make a system that will be used as a treatment for more advanced diseases.
There is a new trial, which will last five years and which is to start this summer. The candidates are between the ages of 18 and 60. The trial is going to be conducted in the same way as the previous one, the patients will be injected two times in a period of four weeks. Patients will be injected once a year in the following four years.
Nevertheless, there is still doubt among the diabetes experts. Robert Sobel, assistant professor at Northwestern University, explains his skepticism.
He explains that it was a stretch to claim that this would impact the millions type 1 patients in that country. He adds that they would be happy to do something that would allow them to repopulate or preserve the beta cell mass. He adds that they have witnessed it reduce previously and couldn’t do anything about that.
The test of time will show whether this vaccine is helpful or not.