'Reverse vaccine' for diabetes passes test
LOS ANGELES — A “reverse vaccine” that allows people with Type 1 diabetes to produce their own insulin has passed its first test with human subjects, according to a new study. The success points to a potential strategy for treating those in the early stages of the disease, experts said.
The therapy is designed to protect cells in the pancreas that make insulin, a hormone the body needs to convert sugars and starches into energy. In people with Type 1 diabetes, the immune system goes haywire and attacks those crucial insulin-producing cells for reasons that medical researchers don't understand.
Researchers dubbed the treatment a reverse vaccine because it suppresses the immune system, instead of stimulating it. As hoped, the experimental vaccine reduced the number of immune system “killer” cells that went on the attack.
“We're trying to turn off one specific immune response,” said Dr. Lawrence Steinman, an immunologist at Stanford University and senior author of the study published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine.
About 1.25 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Authorities in California search for 5 jail escapees
- White House intrusions reveal problems with security, Secret Service
- Pentagon program seeks to retain U.S. technological edge against foreign rivals
- Ticks reduce moose population in northern states
- GOP senators fret U.S. would let Iran disconnect, not scrap, centrifuges
- Threats from Mexican cartels lead protesters to scrap immigration rallies, organizer says
- 121 tourists stranded on schooner near Statue of Liberty
- Pope picks moderate to be Chicago archbishop
- Egyptian Bary admits links to 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa
- Hurricane shattered Charleston, S.C., tested mayor 25 years ago
- New DNA testing in twins welcomed by prosecutors