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

I’m just happy to see some money and research hours devoted to cures instead of treatment.
The model in the US focuses on treatments that will make money for the corporation.
It’s only sensible that a cure would end the business model.
That’s why we need academia and non profit research foundations to drive this.
If all the money goes to treatment we will have good treatment but a cure is never looked for.
It’s not just a diabetes issue.
Gillead came up w the first Hep C cure. It’s pretty remarkable.

1 Like

Same here, although it was mixed with predictions that I could be blind or lose a toe/foot/leg, or kidney dialysis before then.

They didn’t take into account improved urine glucose testing, bg testing, improved insulins, insulin pumps, cgms, better understanding of carbs related to insulin dosing, etc,etc.


Yeah other researchers have been using similar techniques to turn alpha and gamma cells into insulin producers getting around the autoimmune issue.

Hang in there, Timothy. I was diagnosed in 1966 at age 12. The doctor told my mother that I would see a cure within my lifetime. I’m 66 now and still waiting… but I do believe that someday it will come. Whether I am around to see it is anyone’s guess.

1 Like

Why do news websites never provide a link to the original research article? I can’t find a scientific article that backs up this research team’s claims. It’s unverifiable.

1 Like

No way. He said in your lifetime so unless that doctor wants to be know as a horrid liar, the cure better get here while you are still around.
I mean all my doctors have been liars too. But I’ve accepted that.
I haven’t had anyone give me the 5 year line in a while so there won’t actually be anyone who was right, in my world.

Great to hear! But as most here have said, “let’s wait and see where this goes”. City of Hope had been working a number of years ago on an islet-cell transplant therapy but was invasive as this U of A research was briefly described - anti rejection for one thing. Also a number of years ago the U of San Francisco had been working on a T-regulatory cell therapy (sounded similar to the U of A research) using the T1D patients own blood cells.

Time will tell, I think we all have our fingers crossed!

I wonder if the same cure would work for the different types of diabetes?

Any real cure would be bought by the pharmaceuticals and buried. There’s a reason no disease has been cured EVER. Money is more important than lives, this pandemic has proven that. Sorry, but this is the world we live in.

I am sorry, but this sounds like FAKE NEWS. So until Donald tells me it’s true I will consider it to be a con job to line someone pockets with 22 million.

These are not modified blood cells. (I was aware of this brilliant idea months ago, and it’s ingenious in its insight). Basically, unlike the previous approach of using genetic editing to modify beta cells first derived from stem cells, the new approach at DRIFcan in Edmonton (, once “transplanted and producing insulin, are capable of fulfilling patients’ insulin requirements without risk of rejection or a lifetime of immunosuppressive medications”.

At the same time, ViaCyte in San Diego ( under discussion will deliver “novel stem cell-derived cell replacement therapies as a functional cure for all type 1 diabetes” - and note that the researchers are also targeting “a next-generation treatment for insulin-requiring type 2 diabetes.”

(It’s therefore no surprise that DRIFcan and ViaCyte are in a partnership.)

Unlike the current approach that derives beta cells from a non-modified stem cell, the new protocol genetically modifies a T1 diabetics’ stem cells, such that the resulting de novo beta cells not only function in the host but do not cause an immune system rejection. So yes, this is the first potential cure for T1 diabetes because it functions without requiring the need to avoid rejection with immunosuppressive pharmaceuticals (which open the patient to other conditions, including cancers, that have their own serious consequences.)


As always the drugs and procedures in clinical trials are not clearly explained.
Also I think they change it a lot during trials.
There was a viacyte study near me. I didn’t get in because it filled up fast.
That study was described as a encapsulated islet transplant so it would not need immunosuppressants.
So that information is different.
Also the study information says you Amy or may not be required to take a immune suppressant.
So I am left with no idea what is really happening or how they are doing that study.
They might be running more than one study. One with immunosuppressants and one without, but that’s just a guess.

First of all, what one thinks, believes, or sssertsbare not worth discussing without an accompaning link to the source.

Secondly, the type of trial that may you mention (as did I) indeed requires immunosuppressive from the more advanced trial that is the basis of this discussion.

Finally, your comment about changing test materials during clinical trials is again your opinion and so, again, is an unproven accusation.

In summary, belief and fact are different cognitive states that can and must be identified as such.


That’s really not true. Clinical trials are highly regulated in many ways that even other scientific experiments are not necessarily. Doesn’t make them without methodological flaws, but they aren’t slapdash and they aren’t changing protocols during the trial whenever they want to. Just not how they work at all. They also are almost always required to preregister in language suitable for a wide audience, including intended patients with the targeted conditions; it’s just a matter of knowing where to look for the info. I recommend reading about what clinical trials actually are and how they are regulated if you are concerned about that, rather than just generating and sharing unfounded feelings about it. That’s how the anti-science rhetoric currently flooding society gets going.

1 Like

You can watch how the clinical trial are posted.
They start off with one set of criteria, and then a few months later they will post it with different criteria. You don’t need to rely on my word.
Just go to clinical and watch the progression of new trials.
I have been in 3 clinical trials.
First was for inhaled insulin with ultralente insulin, after 3 months they switched me to Lantus. That was around the time it came out.

Then I was switched to using less lantus and more inhaled insulin. All over a 3 year study.

The second study I was in was for cgm. In that study I had to check my sugars twice a day then switched it to once a day.
The readout for the cgm was off for me, but then when the study was renewed, they participants could see the cgm values.

My third study was for an unrelated condition where I got injections in my feet, but even with that my left foot was treated differently from my right.

Three studies all which changed during or after for the next study.
They are looking to find the best path forward, if they didn’t change anything it would be pointless.
Take a look at a study. Capture the description, then go back in 3 months and see if it is the same.

1 Like

That’s a dangerous thing to latch onto

Viacyte has multiple products that are going through clinical trials in the United States.

The PEC-Encap does not require immunosuppressants, but they’ve had trouble with vascularization. They’ve teamed up with Gore to address this issue.

The PEC-Direct requires immunosuppressants but appears to successfully vascularize. They’re now working on a new product called the PEC-QT where they want to change the cells in the PEC-Direct device so that the immune system doesn’t attack them. It looks like Viacyte has teamed up with CRISPR Therapeutics to address this. If DRIFCan is involved, I assume they would be involved in this product, but I don’t see anything on Viacyte’s website about DRIFCan. Perhaps they’re still working out the particulars and simply haven’t posted the press release quite yet. Or maybe I’m looking in the wrong place.

DRIFCan has clearly posted information about the partnership on their website.

Exactly, Terry4. Curing type 1 diabetes is mice has been done before, so headlines like this are rather deceptive.