Are we close to a cure? Scientists think so

I read this article today. I found it somewhat interesting. I thought y’all might like to read it.



thanks for the article,.

Not holding my breath. Folks diagnosed many years ago have discovered that “FIVE YEARS” in “diabetic years” equals roughly 1000 in “non-diabetic years”…


I think this has only been tried in mice so far. I read somewhere that mice have been cured of “type 1 diabetes” over 100 times without most of that working in humans. So I don’t get my hopes up at all until I see something being tried in humans…

However, even if we don’t have a full-blown cure, I do believe that by the time I retire in 25 years I’ll be able to enjoy a day free of diabetes management (whether because of new beta cells or an artificial pancreas), which will be so nice.


TuD hosted a live interview yesterday with a representative from Viacyte, a California company that developed a method of coaxing embryonic stem cells into functioning beta cells. They encapsulate these cells into a thin permeable pouch for surgical insertion under the patient’s skin. This is now being studied in humans. The first cohort, I think 12 T1Ds, had implanted a less than therapeutic amount of these cells to test for safety. The next study stage will involve implanting more cells to test for efficacy.

One of the test sites is Edmonton, Alberta. There’s a doctor there that participated in previous research studies that pioneered implanting cadaver pancreatic cells in the liver combined with immunosuppression to produce normal glucose metabolism as long as several years. This procedure has become known as the Edmonton protocol. This doctor, described in the video as a “rock star,” is now involved in the Viacyte study.

I was late to the live video and look forward to watching it in full when it posts.

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I think the ViaCyte thing is legit. But don’t rule out no more managing. These companies will still have to make money in some way. Before anything major like this happens, I forsee better, more advanced pumps. Mechanical means before genetic ones I bet.

Re: Mice

There are significant differences between the way carbohydrate metabolism works in mice and the way it works in humans. That is why none of the “cures” achieved in mice have yet transferred successfully to the human population. So while current research offers much promise, it’s much too early to be making predictions.

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While Viacyte did work with the mouse model in earlier phases of the study, they are now using humans to study their encapsulated stem-cells coaxed-to-mature-pancreas-cells technology.

I agree with the mouse sentiment, however. Mice have been cured of diabetes often, yet here we are.


There’s no harm in being optimistic. I wonder what the price of this type of procedure would be if it ever becomes commercially available.

These days I’d be more concerned about them actually being able to bring it to market so it could reach the patients than I am about them being able to invent it. There’s a multi billion dollar diabetes industry that wouldnt want to go out of business without a fight.


The demographics of diabetes are exploding. They are happening so fast that the system has invented an entrance category to keep the numbers reasonable. They cal it pre-diabetes. Unless the cure is some simple shot or pill regimen, it will take decades to clean up the remnants of diabetes.

The vendors of current diabetes treatment exist in a market growing so fast that I think a slow-down of that growth will not be too painful or noticeable. The pie will still be getting bigger for many years to come.

Even if T1D were cured, that’s only about 10% of the total diabetics. I think Big Pharma will have many years, even decades, to adjust to a shrinking market.


I would have to assume that a therapy that can lead to an unlimited supply of properly functioning beta cells in the body would also have the ability to at least effectively treat, if not ‘cure’ a large portion of the type 2 population as well.

Is this the same five years it’s been since I was dx’d 32 years ago?


21 years ago for me. i think i remember hearing islet cell transplant and pancreas transplant in 1994. I remember seeing some insulin pumps at diabetes camp in 1995. at least those have come kinda a long way since then.

One time at diabetes camp … Lol I saw a guy with an implanted pump. It was the size of a saucer and you could see the outline of it under his skin. He mentioned that playing softball it would freak the other team out because of the ball hit it then it would “ping”. I am guessing implantable pumps are no longer a treatment option.

Sorry to trail away from the topic but I got distracted by diabetes camp and the BG is trending downwards.


I had a couple of thoughts about the article.
Overall, I found the article a little pretentious. From the scientific community saying collectively, we might know more than you who have diabetes and we think we are almost there. That initially feeling from the article turned me off. Who cares, unless you actually do something, ie PROVE IT! :smirk:
I find it hilarious that scientists “think” they are closer to a cure now more than ever before but just polling diabetics on the forum informally, the people that actually have it have a better, realistic pulse of what really is.

I really think its ok to feel cautiously optimistic especially about the ViaCyte possibility- about believing we are close to a cure. Realistically, I think there will be a bridge before a solid cure comes along. A mix between a treatment and somewhat of a half cure. Then, oh boy, just thinking back to what I read when insulin was finally invented, we all have the joy of figuring out the ups and downs, ins and outs of or the kinks of that cure/treatment.
After insulin was mass produced and given to the masses many people died after dosing insulin incorrectly and this was under a doctors care! Can you imagine the roller coaster ride we are all in for when we trade up for something other than insulin? We will all need a lot of therapy!

When we do have a better treatment/cure, there will be some who I’m sure cannot afford it and those who can. Just because we have a cure doesn’t mean every diabetic will have access to it. Think of all the millions of people in 3rd world countries who have treatable diseases and illnesses who don’t have access to basic treatment/medicine. I’m sure there will be a political element to it all when there is finally one, even though it won’t seem fair and there shouldn’t be.

A cure is a wonderful thing but its also a pandora’s box of all sorts of crap.


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after i read it, i don’t know how i like it,.

Okay, this is my once-and-for-all final comment on the article:

Talk is cheap.


I also remember talk of non-invasive glucose monitors in 1994. I’m afraid we are stuck with what we got for now anyway. I’m not betting on much advancement in my lifetime.

I’m sure there will be better insulin out there soon. A “peakless” insulin would be awesome.

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There are better insulins out there already… For some reason the diabetes population is very resistant to change even when change is good. I suspect even if there is a “cure” someday it would take a long time to catch on because the diabetes world is so resistant to change