February 3, 2013

Josh's "Possible Cures for Type-1 in the News (Early Feb)"

It is that time.

Time to recommend reading Josh Levy. Once again I find myself spellbound by his blog and cautiously optimistic. Optimistic not about any give treatment necessarily but about the level of research and diversity of approaches and that somewhere in all of it there may be better treatments, partial cures and maybe... cures.

This month Josh writes about Trial of Polyclonal Tregs. There are immune regulatory cells. The idea is they take these from a person, make a bunch more in the lab and put them back in hope of restoring increasing the regulatory balance and preserving beta cell function. 

Learning about that is cool enough but what sets Josh apart for me is the detail of his discussion. He considers what constitutes remission for researchers. It is not necessarily what we would thing as PWDs. For researchers is is using half the insulin than otherwise, not none. Also Josh has a discussion of the ethics of research and the participation of children in the studies. This matters if a study is looking at the early stages just after diagnosis as there are far fewer adults available with recently diagnosed T1D than kids. This is an important conversation and I am thrilled to see it brought up in thoughtful manner. 

There is also a conversation of clinical trials on the cocktail mix of Cyclosporine and Lansoprazole. One to stop the autoimmune attack and the other to improve beta cell production. 

Science matters, understanding it does too and I think Josh does a better job month in and month out at reporting on the science of cures than any other single source I know.  As is usually the case my summaries of his blog don't do it justice. The best way I can think to say thanks is to I highly recommend  clicking over and having a look for your self.

Oh and while you are there sign up for his email updates.



  1. Very intriguing stuff, and I love getting an inside look at the ongoing research. Josh does a great job covering this stuff, and we're all better for having him watch these important research issues in such detail and then sharing his insights. Thanks for bringing attention to his work, Bennet.

  2. I read Josh's article too and noted his interesting take on the word "remission" -- and then started wondering if cutting insulin needs in half would actually be useful.

    Research-wise, it absolutely is; they found a way to (on a limited basis, anyway) get the body to make insulin again. But for the person who still has to bolus for meals - it could only lead to confusion: How much insulin do I need? How much do I already have?

    I sure hope that ultimately these trials lead to a full "remission" in the sense that we would ordinarily consider it, but if I had the opportunity for a partial - I'd respectfully decline.

  3. I'm a Joshua Levy fan too.
    I want to respond to the idea of remission. After my islet cell transplant, I had two years with no insulin. It was beyond words wonderful. These last two years, I have needed varying amounts of insulin (10-20) units/day. It's not nearly as wonderful. But, its so much more doable than before. The math of carbs/insulin actually works. It's been a real confidence builder.
    I would consider remission as a practical and rewarding step to the cure.