New Diabetes Treatment Teaches Rogue Immune Cells To Behave

New diabetes treatment teaches rogue immune cells to behave

New diabetes treatment teaches rogue immune cells to behave

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017 -- A treatment targeting wayward immune cells in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes may help even years later, a new study finds.
For the treatment, researchers take blood from a person with diabetes and separate out the immune system cells (lymphocytes). They briefly expose those cells to stem cells from umbilical cord blood from an unrelated infant. Then they return the lymphocytes to the patient's body.
The researchers have dubbed this treatment "stem cell educator therapy," because when exposed to the stem cells, the errant lymphocytes seem to re-learn how they should behave.
"Stem cell educator therapy is a safe approach" with long-term effectiveness, said the study's lead author, Dr. Yong Zhao. He's an associate scientist at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.
Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, occurs when the body's immune system cells mistakenly attack the insulin-producing, or beta, cells in the pancreas. This leaves people with type 1 diabetes with little to no insulin. They need insulin injections to survive.
Researchers have long thought that any cure for type 1 diabetes would have to stop the autoimmune attack, while regenerating or transplanting beta cells.
But Zhao and his team developed a new approach to the problem -- educating the immune cells that had been destroying beta cells so they stop attacking.
In type 2 diabetes, Zhao said immune cell dysfunction is responsible for chronic inflammation that causes insulin resistance. When someone is insulin resistant, their body's cells can't properly use insulin to us Continue reading

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Fractyl Is on a Mission to Cure Type 2 Diabetes

Fractyl Is on a Mission to Cure Type 2 Diabetes

Today we are proud to announce our investment in Fractyl, a medical technology company co-founded by Harith Rajagopalan and Jay Caplan. Fractyl is pioneering a procedural therapy that can reverse insulin resistance and resulting metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The potential here is absolutely life changing, going beyond simply managing diseases like type 2 diabetes to actually curing them.
Harith and I have known each other since we were undergraduates in college. For as long as I’ve known him, I’ve admired his integrity as much as his intellect, and I’m proud to call him a friend. I’ve followed his career and Fractyl’s progress over the past few years, watching closely from the sidelines. When Harith and I met for dinner a couple months back, I knew I had to be a part of his mission.
After completing his residency and fellowship in cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard, Harith started looking for better ways to help his patients. While the gut’s central role in controlling metabolism has long been overlooked, Harith discovered that metabolic diseases could be rooted in the intestines.
After much passion-driven experimentation and research, Harith and Jay invented a minimally invasive and scalable, device-based procedure called Revita™ DMR that directly treats a portion of the small intestine (or duodenum) that is altered by modern diets. An outpatient procedure that takes under an hour, Revita™ DMR aims to rejuvenate the lining of the duodenum and reverse insulin resistance, thereby cor Continue reading

Gaston 5-year-old lobbying Congress for Type 1 diabetes cure

Gaston 5-year-old lobbying Congress for Type 1 diabetes cure

He’s only 5 years old, but he’s preparing to advocate for juvenile diabetes research before Congress.
Miles Bone spent Wednesday morning engaged in a wild, water war with his pre-kindergarten classmates at Gaston Day School to celebrate the end of the year. After toweling off, he readied to eat a chicken nuggets lunch from Chick-fil-A with everyone.
But first, he had to prick his finger with a needle to test his blood glucose level, a ritual he must repeat several times each day as a Type 1 diabetic. He entered his glucose number into an insulin pump—which he wears basically 24/7—that injects him with the correct amount of insulin through a tube attached to his arm to keep his blood glucose stable after eating.
“We talked about last night how he wants to show people what it’s like to have Type 1 diabetes because a lot of people don’t know,” said Sara Bone, Miles’s mother. “A lot of people don’t understand what Type 1 diabetes is and how much it affects his life and how hard he has to work to take care of himself.”
Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone people need to get energy from food. Children and adults can be diagnosed suddenly at any age. It cannot be prevented and there is no cure.
Miles, who lives in Dallas with his parents and older brother, will advocate for Type 1 diabetes research on Capitol Hill in late July. He applied and was selected to be part of a delegation of about 160 children from each U.S. state and several countries represent Continue reading

Tallahassee boy heads to Washington to advocate for those with type 1 diabetes

Tallahassee boy heads to Washington to advocate for those with type 1 diabetes

Crew Carlile, 9, was selected by JDRF to represent North Florida at the upcoming Children's Congress in Washington, D.C. He and his mother Andrea sit down with the Democrat's Nada Hassanein to talk about juvenile type 1 diabetes and JDRF's mission. Hali Tauxe/Democrat
Crew Carlile isn’t afraid of needles.
“I'm like, ‘OK, what did you just do?’” he says slowly. “It's like a small prick.”
The 9-year-old has type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that causes the pancreas to stop producing insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar.
Crew was diagnosed at three years old after his parents noticed that he was always thirsty and his diapers perennially soaking wet — classic symptoms of the disease.
“Every time I would try to run away,” Crew said, remembering the pricks and shots during the first year after his diagnosis. “I was only four years old!”
Since then, the fourth-grader has gained courage.
On Monday, just before his “diaversary,” Crew will be heading to Washington, D.C., to represent North Florida at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Children’s Congress. He’s one of 150 kids selected out of 1,300 applicants.
The articulate child delegate will be a voice for thousands of kids around the country with type 1 diabetes. He'll meet with members of Congress and other federal officials to advocate for government funding for diabetes research and to spread awareness about the chronic disease that affects more than 100,000 American children.
"We're going there to tell our senators about life with juvenile type 1 diabetes, because Continue reading

Pouch of stem cells implanted in trial to cure type 1 diabetes

Pouch of stem cells implanted in trial to cure type 1 diabetes

Viacyte, privately-held, leading regenerative medicine company, announced today that the first patients have been implanted with the PEC-Direct™ product candidate, a novel islet cell replacement therapy in development as a functional cure for patients with type 1 diabetes who are at high risk for acute life-threatening complications. The first implant procedures of the clinical trial took place at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, and the UC San Diego School of Medicine’s Altman Clinical Trials Research Institute. The goal of the open-label clinical trial is to evaluate the PEC-Direct product candidate for safety and definitive evidence of efficacy. In the coming months, the company expects to expand the trial to additional centers including the University of Minnesota and other sites in the US and Canada.
The first cohort of type 1 diabetes patients is receiving multiple small-format cell-filled devices called sentinels in order to evaluate safety and implant viability. These sentinel units will be removed at specific time points and examined histologically to provide early insight into the progression of engraftment and maturation into pancreatic islet cells including insulin-producing beta cells. A second cohort of up to 40 patients is expected to begin enrolling later this year to evaluate both safety and efficacy. The primary efficacy measurement in the trial will be the clinically relevant production of insulin, as measured by the insulin biomarker C-peptide, in a patient population that has little to no ability to produce endogenous insulin Continue reading

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