Cure for T1D? UofA researchers believe they’ve found one

A team at the U of A was able to use stem cells to turn a patient’s own blood into insulin-producing islet cells.


I’m sure we’re still a long way off from a human implementation, but yay for science!

I’ve always always insisted the cure(s) would come eventually out of academia, because their funding depends on ground breaking discoveries. Let’s hope big pharma doesn’t have enough dough to intervene or disappear the project. Or the school/researchers have enough scruples to resist.

I worry a little bit that the article makes it sound too simple, too easy. "We’ll just inject these edited stem cells into you and you’ll be cured! " I’d like to read more and figure out what difficulties haven’t been spelled out.

If it really were that simple, the cure could be inexpensively mass produced and distributed.


I know someone who’s currently enrolled in this trial, and it’s proceeding as described (double blind study using T1D’s).

With respect to articles being too simple, the media have little choice but to dumb it down. It’s written for the general public, who have little to no background in immunology, as do most of us here.


Thanks for posting this article, Jim. Like other’s sentiment here, I am in the cautious optimism camp. Once I heard the words, mice and cure, in the video I had to restrain my reflexive skepticism. Yet I also realize that this kind of effort will someday pivot from the way most of these stories evolve into obscurity over the years and instead blossom to an actual cure. I maintain hope that will someday happen.

One question I would pose about this project: will these altered blood cells live longer than the typical lifespan of human blood, about 120 days, so that they can continue to provide therapy for a much longer period of time? I like the fact that this method eliminates the risky need for immunosuppression required in the Edmonton Protocol of years past.


I am betting on CRISPR: Cutting out the defect in my T1 cells. Let’s wait and see.


They say you won’t need immunosuppression because they’re your own cells. But your body destroyed your own cells to give you diabetes in the first place. This might be clarified in the full text of the article.


The article lacks a lot of details and begs a few questions.
The rejection issue is not explained because type 1 patients essentially already rejected out islet cells. That’s how we got here.
And it cures both type 1 and type 2.
That sounds suspect because each disease is so different.
Even if they just gave type 2 people more islets, they would still be insulin resistant and therefore not cured.
This article really leaves me wanting and even a little irritated at its lack of detail,
Other than that YAY for cure.
That being said, I was diagnosed in 1987. My doc told me that it will be cured in 5 years.
After that every new doctor told me the same 5 year line.
32 years later I’m a little skeptical.
Give me some data please.


I hope something comes of this. It sounds similar to the type 1 from Brazil who is off insulin now after stem cell implantation. In that trial they were all given chemo first which may have stopped the need for anti rejection drugs by resetting the auto immune response.


Dammit, those mice are always getting the cure first. When i am reincarnated I want to be a mouse with diabetes. That way i can be cured and live a long 300 days. So there diabetes take that.


They kill those mice u know. Then cut them open to see if your organs are ok.
Even the control mice are killed.
It’s brutal

Yeah, but I will get a third, fourth or 700th run. :slight_smile:

@meee I believe it’s similar to the Brazilian study, using different drugs

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Thanks :grinning: I will read it. Wouldn’t it be great if the next huge thing for us came from Canada again :pray:t2:


@meee it would be great regardless where it comes from :partying_face:

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Yes of course, wherever it is accomplished, it would be great! I am sure there is still a long way to go. I wouldn’t be surprised if it does, the first successful trials for islet cell transplantations were done in Winnipeg as I recall.

I was diagnosed in 1977 and yes, my doctor told me he thought I would be cured within five years. Sigh.

Yes, very excited to see research is going in different directions. Who knows where the answer will come. And I would be willing to be in the trial as I have done many research trials. Can’t find a cure without some of us being willing to try.
That being said, this is a long way off and as stated by everyone else, MICE? Why are mice always getting a cure they really don’t need!!! So very tired of these darn mice! Yes, I understand they start with mice, but isn’t amazing how often it doesn’t get past the mice.
Been waiting for 50 years for that magic cure in 5 years!
I will continue to volunteer as long as they will use me but I just don’t feel I will see a cure in my lifetime. But I do hope all the trials I have done, will help the next generation. Thank goodness for these researchers! They are driven to find a cure not the money. Yes big pharma wants the money but these researchers many at universities are driven to make life better.


Yeah - I’m a bit jaded too like you are with these “CURE”. I was told in 1970 … only 3 years after my diagnosis, that things were looking good. Sad thing to say, we are cash cows for pharmaceutical / insurance companies and investors. I’m in the wrong line of work. Dang nabbit!

And that’s always been my hope too Sally … maybe not for our generation … but for the future ones. Maybe next life, I come back as a lab rat, and I’ll be cured :slight_smile: Meow \^,^//

But that doesn’t affect academia, where the ground-breaking research comes from. Except when they take payouts or sell their research to pharmaceutical companies that make the research disappear. We’ve got to hold out hope that there are still scruples in academia.

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