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Question:

From Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA:

My eight-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last month. My question is about Dr. Faustman's research on BCG vaccines. My husband and I both hail from India and were given BCG shots when young. We don't have diabetes. Our child was born in the U.S. We wanted to know your opinion on this research. We have been reading about this research on web sites and found about why JDRF did not fund this work and the politics of research money, the industries associated with it, and the resistance to allow a simple cure like BCG to happen. What are your thoughts on that?

Answer:

Denise Faustman's research work is quite interesting, but it is unclear if the BCG will do in humans what it does in animals. Many such proposed treatments work in animal models of disease like diabetes but not so well in people when properly studies. Whether or not the battles with JDRF were real or not, the whole episode was rather bizarre and sad to hear about. There is some current information about the human foibles of this episode in the recent issue of Diabetes Health. Dr. Faustman is currently funded to check out her research theories so we may get some answers over the next few years. The key issue with an autoimmune disease like diabetes is to not do more harm with treatment intervention involving the immune system that may make those with diabetes or predicted to get diabetes more ill than having the diabetes in the first place. So far, most of the interventions have had great theoretical rationale but are not as safe as they need to be. But, the research work is being carried on in many parts of the world.

SB

DTQ-20081007135532
Original posting 9 Nov 2008
Posted to Research: Cure

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:16
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