Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Possible Cures for Type-1 in the News (December)

Here are some "bits and pieces" updates for December.

Update on Dr. Faustman's Phase-II Trial of BCG

Dr. Faustman's lab has published their Fall 2017 newsletter, which you can read here:
http://www.faustmanlab.org/docs/newsletters/DrFaustmanUpdateFall2017.pdf
This newsletter includes more information on her research, especially from the 3rd International BCG conference, The BCG Working Group, and the 2nd edition of the BCG and Autoimmunity book she edited.

There are three pieces of new news there:
  1. The phase-II trial was fully enrolled in Summer of 2017. This is important because we now  know when the trial will end.  Since this is a five year study, they should finish collecting data in Summer of 2022 and publish before Summer of 2023. 
  2. They have given BCG to the three untreated patients from their phase-I trial, so they will have data from six people to report in the future. 
  3. The lab is going to be recruiting for more studies in the future, so would like to hear from anyone who is interested in participating.  No details on future trials were provided.
Another piece of news is that Dr. Faustman is branching out, and trying to apply BCG treatment to Fibromyalgia.  This research is being done in collaboration with EpicGenetics, and they hope to start the trial in early 2018.  If anything applicable to the type-1 world comes up in this research, I'll report it.  Since Fibromyalgia is not generally considered an autoimmune disease, I'm not sure how much "cross pollination" of results there will be.  You can read more about it here:
http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=30644
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170419005324/en/EpicGenetics-Assistance-Leading-Medical-Centers-Expands-Clinical

DILfrequency Trial Completed

There is a lot of research ongoing on IL-2 which is part of the immune system.  About 18 months ago, I summarized all this research here:
http://cureresearch4type1diabetes.blogspot.com/2016/05/general-update-on-il-2-research.html
with an update here:
http://cureresearch4type1diabetes.blogspot.com/2017/01/possible-cures-for-type-1-in-news.html

One of those clinical trials was called "DILfrequency" and that trial has finished, and the results published.  The purpose of that trial was to develop the best dosing method of IL-2 which could then be used in future trials.  ("Best" in this case, meant a stable and known change in the immune system, which the researchers wanted.)  It was successful in terms of telling the researchers what they wanted to know to prepare for future clinical studies.

There are several IL-2 research projects either ongoing or planned to start (including by this group), so I think we'll get a stronger signal in the next few years.

Journal Article: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/11/28/223958
Clinical Trial Record: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02265809

Joshua Levy
http://cureresearch4type1diabetes.blogspot.com
publicjoshualevy at gmail dot com
All the views expressed here are those of Joshua Levy, and nothing here is official JDRF or JDCA news, views, policies or opinions. My daughter has type-1 diabetes and participates in clinical trials, which might be discussed here. My blog contains a more complete non-conflict of interest statement. Thanks to everyone who helps with the blog.

2 comments:

Oscar said...

All immunological approaches to curing type 1 diabetes look like a waste of time, money, and scarce resources to me, since beta cells don't spontaneously regrow to any clinically significant degree after immunosuppression, and it is not known how to make them regrow after the autoimmune attack is suspended. So, a perfect immunosuppression would just be a mirco-first step, as the tens of thousands of type 1 diabetics who have been under extreme immunosuppression for organ transplants without escaping their diabetes show. (Immunosuppression has to be massive in the period immediately after organ transplant or to counter periods of acute rejection, and yet this has never done anything to restore pancreatic function in the many, many type 1 diabetics who have undergone this.} Immunosuppression, if a way to stimulate the re-growth of beta cells cannot be found, will simply be a dead-end, and I suspect many people in M.D.-Ph.D. programs are toying around with it because the methods are familiar and simple and thus an easy way to the degree, rather than because they feel they will succeed. It would be more sensible to research methods to stimulate beta cell regrowth, since if this can be made to work, the door would be opened to making immunosuppressive research worthwhile.

tpiper said...

Beta cells may be 3D printed and transplanted - Royal Adelaide Hospital trialing it.