"Make beta cells great again:" Type 1 diabetes interventions at ADA 2017 - MedCity News
2 Comments / Jun 13, 2017 at 3:57 PM
From the perspective of patients and their families, Type 1 diabetes can feel like a sudden onset disease.
Symptoms arise seemingly out of nowhere, as the body becomes increasingly hyperglycemic. The person frequently still a child becomes extremely thirsty and urinates frequently as his or her body tries to rid itself of the excess blood glucose. Its a losing battle. The person is eventually diagnosed and prescribed a life-long plan for insulin replacement therapy.
It turns out that the patients experience is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Biological mechanisms and autoimmunity are at play for years before symptoms appear. That raises the possibility of early intervention, prevention, or possibly even reversal of the disease if it can be caught in the earliest stages.
To that end, researchers have been piecing together the hidden progression of type 1 diabetes, as theimmune system stealthily destroys the patients insulin-producing beta cells. Those findings and the latest intervention studies were presented on Monday at the 77th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in San Diego, California.
During the well-attended symposium, different researchers shared data from three separate therapeutic interventions, spanning decades and using trial sites around the world.
The studies looked at preventive treatment with insulin, to try to desensitize the immune system to the hormone. Another studied the use of Gleevec (imatinib), a long-standing cancer drug with immunosuppressive properties. Finally, a t Continue reading