People used the vaccine for tuberculosis (bacillus Calmette-Guerin) for over 100 years is now used for treating bladder cancer, but it also showed promise to reverse the disease.
At the 75th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association, an announcement was said that the FDA will test this vaccine on 150 patients who suffer for the advanced stage of type one diabetes.
When it comes to people who suffer from type 1 diabetes, their body doesn’t produce insulin (because their immunity destroys cells that make insulin). The cells that create problems in the pancreatic islets (where the insulin is produced) are created, and they are called T cells. This vaccine can eliminate those cells.
Researches showed that patients who had this tuberculosis vaccine showed the increased levels of the substance that is called tumor necrosis factor. This substance can destroy T cells. Trials with vaccine showed that people who were injected with it (within a four-week time frame) had no more T cells in their organism, and some patients began to produce insulin on their own.
“In phase I (preliminary) trial we demonstrated a statistically significant response to BCG, but our goal in (this trial) is to create a lasting therapeutic response. We will be working again with people who have had type 1 diabetes for many years. This is not a prevention trial; instead, we are trying to create a regimen that will treat even advanced disease”, said Dr. Denise Faustman, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Immunobiology Laboratory in Boston.
Even though all of this is in a trial phase, it is very promising. A new trial is coming soon, and people from 16 to 60 will be used in it. All of them will be injected with this vaccine twice in four weeks, and then one more time in a 4-year time span.