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From Springboro, Ohio, USA:

Our seven year old son was recently diagnosed with typeá1 diabetes, and we are considering his participation in a clinical trial to prolong the honeymoon period by ingestion of interferon alpha. What could be the short and long term effects of ingesting interferon alpha?


The idea that interferon alpha might have a role in suppressing typeá1A (autoimmune) diabetes stems from a report by Brod and others in the journal Diabetalogia vol 41, page 1227 in 1998. You might want to see if your local public library can get you a copy of this at modest cost. [See Ingested interferon alpha suppresses type I diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice.] Whilst it is true that the complexities of immune responses have been extensively unravelled in the last few years and thus offered many ideas for treatment, I don't think that the role of Interferon alpha has yet been worked out to the point that I would wish my son to participate in a clinical trial. In particular, I should be concerned about the considerable evidence that this compound actually appeared to promote diabetes when used in the treatment of hepatitis C. This would make me wonder whether this accelerated response to autoantigens might also provoke a similar response to other associated antigens that can lead to thyroid disorders or celiac disease in people with type 1A diabetes.


Additional comments from Dr. Larry Deeb:

As an investigator, that is my role, to explain fully to parents all that is known. I would presume the investigator has a clinical information brochure, required of the FDA before any trial can commence. It should have all the latest clinical information, early trial data, and all known risks. Frequently this is confidential information, only known to the investigators. Ask!


[Editor's comment: It is the responsibility of researchers who conduct clinical trials to have an up-to-date Informed Consent Form available for you to review (and sign) before entering any trial, and an up-to-date Investigator's Brochure for the local researchers who will be in day-to-day contact with you during the trial. Please be sure to ask any questions you have of the researchers before signing the Informed Consent Form. WWQ]

Original posting 31 Dec 2001
Posted to Research: Other Research


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:30
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