JDRF - Cambridge, MA Lab Tours - A cure is near

A cure seems to be near. I know we’ve all heard that for years but we are living in an incredible time where the combined efforts of the world’s top diabetes researchers are converging. I was fortunate to participate this past Thursday and Friday, Nov 15th and 16th, 2018 with a JDRF Cambridge Lab tour event at Harvard and MIT. I recorded the various tours and wanted to share them. This is the current state of the art in the search for a cure. This was an incredible event and punctuates how well JDRF spends the donations they receive. They’re long audio files but they are very interesting especially during the question and answer periods of the conversations. I’m a T1D (from 20-54) that has enjoyed the advances of research and sharing knowledge is important.

Invitation email: https://www.dropbox.com/s/logrxzb5m4k5zmy/Derek's%20Email.docx?dl=0
Participant Bio: https://www.dropbox.com/s/yhtbevg51g2a369/2018-11-08%20Cambridge%20Lab%20Tours%20Event%20Bios_Final.pdf?dl=0

MIT Talk at Dinner: Dr. Robert Langer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBWQtz7rn7U
Harvard Tour: Dr. Doug Melton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJlLivaHpKM
MIT Tour: Dr. Daniel Anderson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsezdv4rhC8&feature=youtu.be

My two cents while I’ve got your attention:

  • Use a Medtronic 670G. Reduces low blood sugars by 95%. You’re in normal range so often you can forget you have T1D. Your overnight blood sugars are so often near perfect when you wake up. It’s a guardian angel in your sleep. It won’t be long until all the manufactures of pumps will have these features.

  • Get your doctor to write you a prescription to a SGLT2 inhibitor like Jardiance. A daily pill that you’ll likely think is the best thing since taking insulin. One side effect they’ll try to scare you about is you have to keep taking your insulin. No kidding. Well that’s easy. Just talk to your doctor about it and read the blogs. It’s amazing.

  • Stop eating so much bread or stop it all together. Going low or lower carb makes control so much easier. I’m not 100% following my advice but I know I should be. My A1C runs in the mid 6’s by the way.

  • How I produced these videos. iPhone Voice Recorder app. Took still pictures while recording and used the Genius Scan app to crop the slides. Used Final Cut Pro to put it all together.





A cure for? It sure as hell wont be me. I hope it is for you but I do not think I would place money on it. Just saying.


SGLT2 inhibitors are being investigated for increased lower limb amputation risks not just in the US, but globally- the ENTIRE class of this drug is being evaluated.

No thanks. Not for me.


Everything is risk vs reward. Drop your A1C almost 1% is huge. Increase risk of limb loss in that study is small. An increase from 1.1 per 1,000 to 2.7 per 1,000 is an increase risk of .16%. Not 16%. I also just recommended talking to your doctor about it. I like the benefits over that risk. Easy choice.

Risk vs Reward is not a complete analysis without taking into account alternative approaches.


Totally agreed its Risk vs Reward. I personally am not willing to lose a lower limb for a better A1c, regardless of any purported benefits.


Thanks for this post–that’s in my neighborhood; I wish I could have tagged along!

Re: the 670G:

Having struggled for six months to get the thing to work even as well as I was managing on my manual pump, let alone better, I can personally certify that this is… Well, I’ll avoid saying something rude and just say it’s absolutely not true for me anyway.

I started on it 2 months ago and it has been amazing. ETA: the warning I was given was that for T1s there’s a potential for spilling ketones at a significantly lower BG than you’d expect, hence heightened chance of DKA. So some caution is advised, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Regarding the 670. Big lesson early on was wearing the sensor on the side of the bicep of my arm. Sensor lasts 7 day most of the time. 1 in 20 end a few hours early. The other lesson was when prompted for a “BG”, do it, and do not calibrate. I was calibrating also thinking “why wouldn’t I calibrate?”. Hitting calibrate seemed to put it in a loop of asking for BG, asking for calibration, BG, calibrate, over and over again. Asking for BG is just in case it stopped pumping and your BG is rising or you’re low for too long. It’s just a double check.

I have a couple of threads on this forum about my experience with it, so I won’t sidetrack this thread but, yes, I had a pretty thorough schooling in all the possible tweaks, sensor positions, foiling The Loop and the rest. I was on the closed FB group, I had lots of emails flying between me and my Mdt trainer for weeks. Believe me, I gave it a sustained and dedicated effort, really hoping for the happy-face results they promise in the marketing collateral but it just wasn’t there for me (and a lot of others, not for lack of trying). I’m more than happy for those who find it works for them, of course. YDMD.

All we need is the 670g whatever and everything will be perfect, ok Not :joy_cat::joy_cat::joy_cat:

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I hope you aren’t talking about another device as being a cure, unless it is something implanted in you that truly mimics a pancreas. A closed loop pump system is not a cure by far, and never will be as it simply can’t work as fast and effectively as a pancreas.

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You should listen to this. It isn’t a closed loop pump system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJlLivaHpKM

Yeah I haven’t listened to any of those yet, I was just speaking in general terms. Glad that isn’t what it is then.

Many of us here do lower carb (some not), and get great A1Cs, without 670. Did you make those changes at the same time?

Trying to remember… Started Jardiance first and my A1C started dropping from the mid to low 7’s I recall. Wasn’t losing much weight at that point. Went to a presentation regarding diet and quit eating bread more or less and started losing some weight. Really just 10-15lbs lighter now. Got the 670 when it came out and my A1C dropped some more into the mid 6’s now.

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Hi Thoffmanjr, I can’t see the video due to the firewall. Could you briefly summarize which methdolgoies could be the final cure for T1D? Stem cell or gene tech, or whatever? Thanks!

Google: Dr. Douglas Melton. Singular goal: make human islet cells for diabetics to cure T1 diabetes. They feel they have solved the problem of how to make fully functional human beta cells for transplantation. They are now moving to the problem of how to transplant them so that they will survive and function without an encapsulation device. Now google: Dr. Daniel Anderson. He’s at MIT and they are working on an encapsulation device that can hold the beta cells until Dr. Melton can figure out how to protect the beta cells outside an encapsulation device. I should also say that the encapsulation device isn’t mechanical. It’s 95% water. Human trials are hoping to start 2020 or 2021. They have launched companies and have raised tens of millions of dollars already to accelerate the progress. Maybe the most exciting thing is that they have trained students over the years that have entered the field and they have been able the leverage the knowledge to continuing working toward a cure.

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Many thanks! It looks promising. Good luck to all of us.