MGH study finds generic drug can reverse type 1 diabetes long-term

Has anyone heard about this research? What do you think, do you think it is valid and/or reliable?

This is Faustman. Faustman was featured SUPER PROMINENTLY in 2008-2014 era on tudiabetes.

I think all of us have been promised cures so many times during our lives, with ZERO actual results, that we don’t even bother looking at a link that claims to “reverse” or “cure” T1.


Exactly Tim12. My pet peeve is this, it has always been said that Type 1 is an autoimmune disease so how do you know which Type 1 you have “cured”—the one that was caused by stress, the one that was caused/triggered by the flu, the one that was caused by an environmental trigger?

Scientists don’t even know how or why Type 1 was caused in the first place, so how can you say you’ve cured something that we don’t know was the root cause—it’s a mysterious like the chicken and the egg–which came first?

What is the baseline? What are the controls? How were the results tested?

I always say I’m an autoimmune collector—my favorite doctors (all retired) never tried to pidegonhole me–when a new disease would pop up–they would just say, "well another switch either turned “on” or “off” in your genes…not really sure…but your immune system is having a party either way. "

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Yes–been around for a while, has always seemed promising, but IIRC when last I tuned in she was having a hard time getting funding. Because “generic drug.”

After hearing about the mythical “cure in 5 years” for coming on 35 years, I really hate getting my chain yanked yet again… BUT:

In research published Thursday in journal npj Vaccines, patients who had been treated with the bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine — an inexpensive, generic vaccine used around the world to prevent tuberculosis — had normal blood sugar levels eight years after the trial ended.

While it took three years for patients to see results from the vaccine, two doses of the drug spaced four weeks apart were still having a lasting impact eight years later.

Interesting that it took so long for the treatment to start working. But we are, at least, talking about HUMAN trials now, so that’s pretty… I don’t even want to say (see above: chain, yanked).

Also this:

The recently published study also details how the vaccine genetically alters the body’s white blood cells so they process glucose, making up for the pancreas’ inability to produce insulin to do the same. In type 1 diabetes — referred to in the past as juvenile diabetes — the immune system damages the pancreas and blocks the cells from producing insulin.

Crazy–it’s not revivifying the pancreas, it’s getting the white cells to take over. I’m fairly gobsmacked.

Used in China, Africa and South America to vaccinate against TB, the BCG vaccine has been used 4 billion times over the last 100 years. Last year alone, 100 million doses of the vaccine were given to newborns. Because TB isn’t common in the U.S., children here do not receive the vaccine.

So, those kids are all being inadvertently immunized against T1??? Seems like that would follow. You’d think there’d be epidemiological evidence of that…?

“It’s not only the discovery that something cheap in new cohorts brings down blood sugar, but why. We’ve discovered new pathways for lowering blood sugar,” Faustman said. “It’s an important discovery for the basic science of diabetes care. And by the way, we have a cheap BCG vaccine that seems to be doing it.”

Yeesh. It’s enough to make a T1 think… but I’m not going there. Not… Yet…

I always roll my eyes when I see headlines such as this. Call me if/when there is a REAL cure, however.

(Having not done more than skim any of the headline articles today…)

My understanding is that this study showed that the vaccine can help improve blood sugar control. Not allow a patient to stop insulin. That is hardly “reversing” diabetes. Still might be a useful tool, though.


I don’t see it as a cure, but if my body still produces a little insulin, and this would give my body a second mechanism for ‘assisting’ in using the glucose in my blood, this would be a good point for better control.

On re-read, I see that it doesn’t actually say it eliminated the need for insulin altogether, though it seems implicit. Pretty important question, yeah.

The results on the 52 T1 participants look very promising. If it is a commonly used inexpensive vaccine, why not just go to your doctor and get it? Who knows, I might have to make an emergency trip to an area that has a high risk of TB.:wink:

I AM taking Humira (for Psoriasis), which can make you MORE susceptible to TB, so there is that.


I really wish the media wouldn’t throw around words so carelessly. According to Dr Faustman’s comments on her Facebook page, BCG is not a cure, nor does it completely reverse T1. I’ll celebrate anything that helps in managing T1 though.

I found this quote very interesting:

“In addition, researchers also found that vaccine could reduce blood sugar elevations in mice not caused by an autoimmune attack. This raises the possibility that the vaccines could be used to treat type 2 diabetes, the researchers said.”

I (T2) would happily stand in line next to my T1 daughter to get this, if it actually turns out to be the real deal.

Quote above taken from this article:

For reference, here is the actual journal article these media reports are (sort of) based on:

I had a BCG vaccine at age 15, after 10years of T1D. I’m not cured, and it made zero impact on my control as a hormonal teenager.

Dr. Faustman has proven that a lot of the strains of BCG are ineffective for the purpose of treating diabetes. Do you know which strain you got?

Not a clue, obviously not the correct one🙄. And only one vaccine too.