Friday, June 6, 2008

Hopeful Comments on Honeymoon Cures Becoming Cures for Everyone

Most research aimed a curing type-1 diabetes is focused on people in the "honeymoon" phase. People who have had type-1 for 3 months or less (or sometimes out to 6 months). In the past (before 2007) I was very nervious about these cures. I was afraid that if they worked, research into curing long term diabetes would stop, since there would not be a new pool of customers. However, recently I have come to a different conclusion. I now think that it is very likely that cures for type-1 diabetes will start out working on "honeymoon" diabetics, but end up being refined or augmented to work for all diabetics. Why?
  • Some recent research suggests that the pancrease is always making new cells, and the immune system is always killing them. If so, then even long term diabetics will slowly be cured with these treatments.
  • There are several research areas trying to make the pancrease grow new cells. Currently, these are not considered promising, because the immune system would just kill the new cells. But if any of these cures work for honeymooners, then they could be paired with a cell growth treatment for a cure for long term type-1 diabetics. Such growth factors include human growth hormone, INGAP, etc.
Remember that once a drug is approved for any one purpose, that drug can be proscribed by a doctor for any other purpose. This is called "off label" prescription. If if any of these cures are approved even just for honeymooners, then some doctor, somewhere is going to prescribe it to non-honeymooners, and we will all quickly learn what happens.

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