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MGH Researcher’s Diabetes Quest Takes Big Step

MGH Researcher’s Diabetes Quest Takes Big Step

MGH Researcher’s Diabetes Quest Takes Big Step

The FDA approves the second phase of Dr. Denise Faustman’s clinical testing of a type 1 diabetes vaccine, an exciting next step in her pursuit of a therapy to reverse the disease.
After nearly 20 years of research, Massachusetts General Hospital researcher Denise Faustman, MD, PhD, has made a promising advance in her quest to cure type 1 diabetes.
Her team recently passed a major threshold by receiving FDA clearance to test a large group of long-term diabetics with an old tuberculosis vaccine that could also combat type 1 diabetes. The phase 2 trial of the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine was announced last month at an American Diabetes Association conference in Boston, an exciting next step in Dr. Faustman’s pursuit of a therapy to reverse the disease.
“We’re in full action mode. The phones are ringing off the hook.”
While thrilled about receiving the FDA’s blessing, Dr. Faustman and her staff didn’t celebrate for long. They’re already accepting applications for patients who want to participate in the five-year trial that starts this summer.
We’re in full action mode. The phones are ringing off the hook,” Dr. Faustman says. As many as 100,000 diabetics are expected to volunteer for the clinical trial, but the MGH Immunobiology Laboratory will winnow the number of participants to 150 adults, with some receiving BCG and others taking a placebo.
Old Vaccine, New Promise
The FDA approved the phase 2 trial essentially by certifying MGH’s use of BCG that will be produced by the Japanese government. Academics usually don’t have to look around the wo Continue reading

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Research Shows This One Plant Can Kill Cancer Cells & Treat Diabetes

Research Shows This One Plant Can Kill Cancer Cells & Treat Diabetes

Bitter melon is a fruit that grows abundantly in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Traditionally it has been used to treat diabetes and other more mild diseases or illnesses.
More recently, bitter melon juice was shown to kill pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in mice in a study done by the University of Colorado. Considering the results were seen in both in vitro and in vivo tests, the effectiveness of bitter melon juice in treating pancreatic cancer, and potentially other cancers, at a clinical level are promising.[1]
“IHC analyses of MiaPaCa-2 xenografts showed that BMJ(Bitter Melon Juice) also inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis and activates AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) in vivo. Overall, BMJ exerts strong anticancer efficacy against human pancreatic carcinoma cells, both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting its clinical usefulness.”
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to treat due to the fact that it is often discovered late, leaving very little time to treat. Since traditional therapies (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery etc) were not showing promising results and littler advancement was being made, researchers have been looking elsewhere to find treatment.
Interestingly, cannabis, specifically cannabinoids, have been shown to induce apoptic (programmed) death of human pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and stop pancreatic tumor growth in vivo.[4] Cannabis is perhaps one of the most popular treatments being aggressively pursued right now given its promising results both in labs and anecdotally.
Scientific Evidence
Panc Continue reading

Alabamian with diabetes built her own artificial pancreas, gives away plan for free

Alabamian with diabetes built her own artificial pancreas, gives away plan for free

Dana Lewis is a good name to remember the next time you hear somebody say Alabama's mostly good for football and barbecue.
Lewis, a University of Alabama graduate who grew up in Huntsville, used social media, computer skills and mail-order parts to invent an artificial pancreas for people with diabetes. Along with co-inventor and husband Scott Leibrand, she's now giving her discovery away.
The device is a success - hundreds of people are using it, including Lewis - and it is bringing the young inventors increasing attention. Just this spring, Fast Company put the 28-year-old Lewis on its 2017 list of America's 100 "most creative people in business."
Diabetes is caused when the pancreas fails to make the insulin that helps the body turn glucose from sugar and carbohydrates into energy. Without insulin, sugar builds up in the blood stream. With too much insulin, it can fall to dangerously low levels. For diabetics, staying in the safe center is a constant challenge.
"You really do make hundreds of decisions a day about things that impact your blood sugar," Lewis said last week from her current home in Seattle. "It's a lot. And it really does impact everybody who cares for a person with diabetes - spouses, siblings, parents, grandparents. Oftentimes, a person with diabetes is surrounded by a half-a-dozen people who help care for them and love them."
Lewis was an example of that. She moved to Seattle for a job after graduating from Alabama. The daughter of a Huntsville engineer, she attended Grissom High School before going to Tuscaloosa.
At the university, Lewis minored in an Continue reading

A Fasting Diet Could Reverse Diabetes And Repair The Pancreas, Says New Research

A Fasting Diet Could Reverse Diabetes And Repair The Pancreas, Says New Research

Researchers have been able to reverse symptoms of diabetes and restore pancreas functions in mice by putting them on a version of the fasting-mimicking diet.
The diet tricks the body into a fasting mode for a few days a month, even while carefully selected foods are still being eaten, and it could be enough to reboot the organ's key functions and restore insulin production, scientists say.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas cannot make insulin (type I) or is damaged by insulin resistance (type II), and the team from the University of Southern California says the diet reversed symptoms of both types of diabetes in mice.
"By pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back... the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming," says the head of the research team, Valter Longo.
In humans, the fasting-mimicking diet has been credited with helping people lose weight more effectively, and previous studies have also linked it to reducing risk factors for diseases like heart disease and cancer.
The diet has also been credited with reducing the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, so it's earning quite a reputation amongst scientists. In each case starving the body seems to reset the production of healthy cells.
In the latest study, mice were put into the artificial fasting mode for four days a week over a period of several months.
Scientists found this was enough to regenerate beta cells in the pancreas, responsible for storing and releasing insulin. Damaged cells were replaced by working ones.
The team also experimented on pancreati Continue reading

Clifford Whittaker given medal for living with diabetes for 80 years

Clifford Whittaker given medal for living with diabetes for 80 years

A pensioner who has lived with diabetes for 80 years has become the first person in the UK to get a medal for the way he has coped with the condition.
Clifford Whittaker, 88, from Colchester, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was eight years old.
He was awarded the medal by the charity Diabetes UK which described him as "an inspiration".
"My diabetes has never stopped me doing anything," said Mr Whittaker, adding he had only stopped driving two years ago.
If poorly managed or left untreated, diabetes can lead to blindness or amputations.
'Long and healthy life'
Mr Whittaker said he had managed to live with the condition for so long thanks to his late wife Doreen, to whom he was married for 60 years.
The couple met while working in a sweet shop in Hertfordshire.
He said: "Doreen passed away six years ago. But she used to look after me very well and make sure I was eating properly and generally looking after myself," said Mr Whittaker.
300,000
people in the UK have Type 1 diabetes
10% of all diabeties is Type 1 - where the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin
40 Most people are diagnosed in their childhood and before they reach the age of 40
NHS England
"My diabetes has never stopped me doing anything and people have always been very kind. I worked in the wages department of a company until I retired in my 60s."
Sharon Robert, of Diabetes UK said: "He is an inspiration, and has really shown that through managing your diabetes well you can live a long and healthy life".
Mr Whittaker was given an HG Wells medal which is awarded to people who have lived with the conditi Continue reading

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