Cure for diabetes: Breakthrough could end insulin shots for good

A NEW medical breakthrough could end insulin shots for good.

The breakthrough has cured diabetes in mice – with no side effects.

The breakthrough has cured diabetes in mice – with no side effects.

The research comes from a UT Health San Antonio report which describes the process as using a gene transfer which can increase the types of cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.

 Researchers said they aim to reach human clinical trials within the next three years.
“It worked perfectly,” assistant professor of medicine at UT Health, Dr Bruno Diron said.

“We cured mice for one year without any side effects. That’s never been seen.

“But it’s a mouse model, so caution is needed. We want to bring this to large animals that are closer to humans in physiology of the endocrine system.”

Ralph DeFronzo, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Diabetes at UT Health described how the therapy works: “The pancreas has many other cell types besides beta cells, and our approach is to alter these cells so that they start to secrete insulin, but only in response to glucose [sugar]. This is basically just like beta cells.”

Insulin, which diabetic people take injections of in order to keep their blood sugar levels at bay, are made up of beta cells.

In Type 1 diabetes, these cells are destroyed by the immune system and so the patient is left without insulin.

In Type 2 diabetes, the beta cells fail and insulin decreases – with Type 2 the body also does not use insulin efficiently.

If the procedure can be replicated successfully in humans, this could have the potential to cure Type 1 diabetes.

Source: Cure for diabetes: Breakthrough could end insulin shots for good

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