Most people around the world are familiar with Diabetes. It is a metabolic disease in which the body’s inability to produce any or enough insulin causes elevated levels of glucose in the blood. In 2014 29.1 million people suffered from diabetes, that is about 9.3% of the population.
Finally, there is a promising vaccine that has the potential to reverse the symptoms of type 1 diabetes. The research on the vaccine is about to move onto phase 2 of the trial, meaning they are going to be testing it on humans. The vaccine is called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG). The vaccine has succeeded in reversing type 1 diabetes in a trial among mice. The BCG vaccine has already been FDA approved as a bladder cancer treatment as well as a treatment for tuberculosis.
Researchers have shown that the vaccine can eliminate problematic white blood cells that lead to diabetes. This is done by destroying the beta cells that make and release insulin into the blood. In a previous trial, patients were injected with the tuberculosis vaccine twice within a four-week time frame. The results showed that the dangerous T cells were gone, and some people even began to secrete insulin on their own.
The study has been conducted by Dr. Denise Faustman, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Immunobiology Laboratory in Boston. She is very confident in the results of her research. The newest trial coming will use the same format as the previous one, on people aged between 18 and 60. The subjects will be injected with the vaccine twice in a period of 4 weeks, and then once a year for a 4 year time period.
We are all eager for the release of the vaccine to the public, but we must patiently wait for perfect details. This vaccine could save lives of millions, and improve the lives of billions around the globe.