Currently, in the U.S. 1.25 million people suffer from type 1 diabetes. However, according to newest researching the vaccine used for tuberculosis Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) can reverse this disease. This vaccine has been used for over 100 years and has shown great results as well as in the treatment against bladder cancer. At the 75th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association was revealed that the FDA will start testing the vaccine on 150 people who are in an advanced stage of type 1 diabetes.
This vaccine is efficient in eliminating T cells. What this means? Namely, a person suffering from type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin as a result of the immune system destroying the cells that create insulin. T cells are produced, and these cells cause problems in the pancreatic islets, where insulin is produced.
The patients who were injected with this vaccine showed an increase in the levels of a substance called tumor necrosis factor. The increased level of TNF in the system eliminates T cells which are impeding the production of insulin.
These patients were previously injected with the tuberculosis vaccine two times during four weeks period. The given results were incredible, the harmful T cells were gone, and in some cases patients began to secrete insulin on their own.
Dr. Denise Faustman, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Immunobiology Laboratory in Boston, is very satisfied with the showed results of the BCG vaccine, stating the following:
“In the phase I (preliminary) trial we demonstrated a statistically significant response to BCG, but our goal in (this trial) is to create a lasting therapeutic response. We will be working again with people who have had type 1 diabetes for many years. This is not a prevention trial; instead, we are trying to create a regimen that will treat even advanced disease”
There is a new upcoming trial using the same guideline as the previous one, tested on people with an age span of 18 to 60 years old. They will be injected with the vaccine twice within four 4 weeks period, and after that once a year in a time period of four years.
The Diabetes Care journal has released the results of a past study which analyzed the effects of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) on children with diabetes in an age span of 5 to 18 years old. The given results revealed that the BCG vaccine doesn’t maintain the beta-cell function or increase the remission rate in children.