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From America OnLine:

My 10-year old son was diagnosed with diabetes about 14 months ago. He has excellent control of blood sugars. How can we find out if he is a candidate for the BCG vaccine or get more info on the vaccine?

There are many studies underway world-wide to identify kids at high risk of developing diabetes through measurement of antibodies, then administering something to hopefully delay or, better still, prevent diabetes from occurring. Such studies have been evaluating:

  1. the use of insulin (in the The Diabetes Prevention Trial),
  2. BCG (which is an anti-tuberculosis vaccine),
  3. various anti-rejection medications that are used in transplant patients, and
  4. and nicotinamide (a vitamin).

All these substance have shown some promise in animal studies, and haven't yet been shown to work reliably in humans (although there's at least one youngster who hasn't gotten diabetes after seven years of insulin therapy to prevent diabetes when he's only had positive antibody studies, and it had been expected based on these antibody studies that he'd get diabetes within three years!)

The BCG trials include one at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, in Denver, Colorado, but they have already enrolled enough kids that they are not accepting anymore (as of April 9, 1996).

Since your son already has diabetes, he probably doesn't qualify for these preventive trials.

However, if you have other children without diabetes, their antibody levels should be measured, and they could possibly become part of the Diabetes Prevention Trial.

For more information about the BCG research study, you could contact Dr. Georgianna Klingensmith at the Barbara Davis Center at (303) 270-8796.


Original posting 11 Apr 96


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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