Harvard and MIT Are Extremely Close To ‘Cure’ For Type 1 Diabetes Which Will End Daily Injections

Scientists at MIT and Harvard have proven that planting insulin-producing cells into mice can completely restore insulin function for a long time.

A cure for type 1 diabetes is closer than ever after scientists showed they can switch off the disease for six months in animals – which would equate to several years in humans.

In 2014, researchers at Harvard University discovered how to make huge quantities of insulin-producing cells, in a breakthrough hailed as significant as antibiotics.

Now a team at MIT has proven that planting the cells into mice can completely restore insulin function for a long time.

It could mean the end of daily insulin injections for the 400,000 people in Britain living with Type 1 diabetes. Instead they would simply need a transfusion of engineered cells every few years.

Researchers say human trials are just a few years away.

“We are excited by these results, and are working hard to advance this technology to the clinic,” said Dr Daniel Anderson, professor of applied biology at MIT.

“These results lay the groundwork for future human studies using these formulations with the goal of achieving long-term replacement therapy for type one diabetes.

“We believe (the cells) have the potential to provide insulin independence for patients suffering from this disease.

“It has the potential to provide diabetics with a new pancreas that is protected from the immune system, which would allow them to control their blood sugar without taking drugs. That’s the dream.”

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that causes the pancreas to stop producing insulin – the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels.

If the amount of glucose in the blood is too high it can seriously damage the body’s organs over time.

To survive, people with type 1 diabetes must test their blood-sugar levels throughout the day by either pricking their fingers to draw blood or using a continuous glucose monitor, and then administer insulin through multiple daily injections.

While diabetics can keep their glucose levels under general control by injecting insulin, that does not provide the fine tuning necessary to properly control metabolism, which can lead to devastating complications such as blindness or loss of limbs.

Around 10% of all diabetes is Type 1, but it is the most common type of childhood diabetes. 29,000 youngsters suffer in Britain.

The team at Harvard used embryonic stem cells to produce human insulin-producing cells equivalent in almost every way to normally functioning cells in vast quantities.

When they were implanted into mice, the cells immediately began producing insulin in response to blood glucose levels and were able to maintain blood glucose within a healthy range for 174 days.

“These therapies have the potential to be ground-breaking for people with type 1 diabetes,” said Julia Greenstein,Vice President of Discovery Research at JDRF, the world’s leading type 1 diabetes research charity.

“They effectively establish long-term insulin independence and eliminate the daily burden of managing the disease for months, possibly years, at a time without the need for immune suppression.

“We hope to see this research progress into human clinical trials and ultimately a potential new type 1 diabetes therapy.”

The latest research was carried out by teams at Harvard, MIT, The University of Illinois, Boston Children’s Hospital and the University of Massachusetts

Arturo Vegas, a former MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital postdoc who is now an assistant professor at Boston University added: ““Being insulin-independent is the goal. This would be a state-of-the-art way of doing that, better than any other technology could. Cells are able to detect glucose and release insulin far better than any piece of technology we’ve been able to develop.”

The research was published in Nature Medicine.

Diabetes Sugar

Type 1 diabetes

Occurs when the pancreas (a small gland behind the stomach) doesn’t produce insulin – the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. If the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, it can, over time, damage the body’s organs.

10%of all diabetes is type 1 but it’s the most common type of childhood diabetes

Type 2 diabetes

The body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly, or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin. This means that glucose stays in the blood and isn’t used as fuel for energy.

90%of adults with diabetes have type 2, and it tends to develop later in life.

Additional on Diabetes: This Man Cures AIDS, Cancer, Diabetes and Many More


Information’s from: Telegraph

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

To Top