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Any thoughts on Dr Denise Faustman's BCG gig?

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Scott-C, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I really don't want to start a Daily Mail style "cure for T1?" thread, but I noticed some stuff the other day about trials Dr Denise Faustman is running with the good old fashioned BCG injections, and was wondering whether any docs/techy people have any thoughts about it.

    I know nothing about medicine so can't express a view but am wondering what other people think. is it just an interesting bit of research or is she on to something?

    A lot of people scoffed at Banting coming from left-field in the way he did, so who knows, how crazy would it be if a few BCG injections were sitting there staring us in the face and no-one had noticed?

    Her theory is that BCG injections selectively kills off rogue T cells and allows remaining beta cells to regenerate even in longer terms T1s.

    She doesn't seem like a snake-oil merchant: Director of the Immunobiology Laboratory at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Bill and Melinda Gates and Lee Iacocca are funding her.

    From her faqs page: http://www.faustmanlab.org/research/faq.html

    "5. What were the results of the Phase I trial?
    In the Phase I human study, BCG was administered to adults who had been living with type 1 diabetes for an average of 15 years. This treatment not only helped eliminate the defective T cells that mistakenly attack and destroy the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, it also temporarily restored the ability of the pancreas to produce small amounts of insulin. The results were published in 2012. The next step, a Phase II study, is currently being underway, with the goal of identifying the drug dose and schedule that will put advanced type 1 diabetes into remission."​

    The phase 1 report is here:http://www.faustmanlab.org/docs/academic/JournalPone0041756.pdf

    "We also found
    that BCG vaccination and an unexpected EBV infection in a
    placebo-treated diabetic subject, both known triggers of innate
    immunity, caused rapid increases in circulating insulin-autoreac-
    tive T cells that were mostly dead. The rapid release of dead
    insulin-autoreactive T cells supports the hypothesis, first demon-
    strated in the NOD-mouse model of autoimmune diabetes, that
    BCG ameliorates the advanced autoimmune process underlying
    type 1 diabetes by stimulating TNF, which selectively kills only
    disease-causing cells and, further, permits pancreas regeneration
    [7,8] as evidenced by the transient increase in C-peptide secretion
    we observed using an ultrasensitive C-peptide assay."​
     
  2. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    That's very interesting, I had my BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) when I was 10, ahead of all my class mates. I was told that it was because of family members having had it. I wasn't exposed to anyone with it, but it is spread by inhaling the bacteria. Not really sure why I had it ahead of my school mates. My brother was 2 years younger and had it done at the same time.
     
  3. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    I never had a BCG because my '6 needles' test was just about positive. (The dots were still there, but barely raised)
     
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  4. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    I was also pronounced immune to TB through the initial skin test so I didn't have the vaccine. Most of my class mates did. It was given to all children at that time. I can't remember my age but I was definitely at grammar school so must have been above 11, so sometime in the early 60s. .
     
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  5. daisyduck

    daisyduck Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Me too. No injection but they did send me for a chest x-ray.
    Turned out my dad had TB and I had inherited immunity
     
  6. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Interesting. My Dad had tests for TB several years after that and they were negative. I lived on a farm but we never ever had any cattle reacting to the TB test, so I am unsure as to where I got it from. I have even wondered if it was from a dead badger that I found when I was out walking with friends. We didn't touch it but we did poke and prod it with sticks lol.
     
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  7. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    @Scott-C It's research I was excited about a while ago, but it doesn't seem as promising to me as it first sounded as a cure for Type 1.
     
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  8. daisyduck

    daisyduck Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My Dad got it when he served in Gibraltar in the war, he recovered in Kelling .. did they call it a sanitorium then ?
     
  9. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    LOL.

    It doesn't need to be parents that passed the immunity on. In times past many, many people died from TB. It was rampant among all communities and backgrounds. Our parents may have escaped the disease for whatever reason, or been carriers, but those of us with Victorian grandparents and great parents may well have been passed immunity from them, and unless we study our own genealogy we will never know where it came from..
     
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  10. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    I once read that TB immunity can be passed down as many as 4 or 5 generations - although it was hearsay, and I can't produce any references for that statement.

    The potential implications for T1 must be incredible, but it looks like being a long time from implementing it. And presumably the point at which the BCG is used may end up being crucial, because of our limited ability to regenerate/grow new beta cells.

    I really hope this research gets to the point of actually reaching T1s, so much doesn't.
     
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  11. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    I was BCG vaccinated after T1 diagnosis. It didn't cure me then, so I question whether it would now....
     
  12. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    But, but, but, she's cured mice!

     
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  13. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Expert

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    I had the BCG when 11 years old we were sent down to a local clinic for it and instructed to come straight back to school we of course took it as an opportunity to bunk off for a couple of hours making our way to the local chip shop.For a potato fritter and a bag full of those little bits of batter.

    I can still see on my arm the marks left by the 6 needle test.
     
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  14. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Go on, Tim, you're well respected as an experimenter, so see if you can pick up some BCG on e-bay and see what it does!

    I read an interview with her where she said imagine the early days where glucose couldn't be measured with any real degree of accuracy, that's how she's looking at it now, she's seeing a response of sorts but can't measure it, hence the phase 2 stuff over 5 years, to figure out dosing and frequency. Vaguely recall she was talking about monthly injections over 6 months, then yearly injections.

    Of course, this could all turn out to be absolute mince, but I recall a famous scientist, although not so famous that I remember his name, saying I let all my staff do any experiment they want because you never know what will turn up.
     
  15. zand

    zand Type 2 · Expert

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    Well my younger son needed the BCG jab and the older one had it when he was a baby (cos that's when my dad was ill with some sort of chest complaint that turned out to be nothing much at all) so it's a pity I didn't pass on the immunity any further. Yet again I've failed as a parent. :rolleyes:
     
  16. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    They did. My uncle and his fiance both had TB when he was a merchant seaman in Japan (early 1950s). He lived to the ripe old age of 89, sadly his fiance died from TB.
     
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  17. JohnEGreen

    JohnEGreen Other · Expert

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    My uncle was evacuated during WWII and not treated very well made to work on the farm from dawn till dusk beaten and had to sleep in the barn not fed properly when he came home to the family he had contracted TB spent two years in a sanatorium
    so no immunity in our family I think.
     
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  18. lindisfel

    lindisfel · Well-Known Member

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    Hi John those unhealthy bits at chip shops were named scrumps where I lived!
    TB was rife when I was young, it was called consumption by the working class and any afflicted person looked like a shadow of what they should be with wasted bodies and limbs, I hope science can keep it at bay. D.
     
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    #18 lindisfel, Apr 14, 2017 at 6:57 PM
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  19. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    This thread has gne off topic. The OP has asked about the use of BCG to cure Type 1 diabetes, not the normal vaccination many people had in childhood/teenage years.

    Please stay on topic.
     
  20. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Insulin seems so, so obvious now, but reading back over the history of it, D baffled the medical profession for thousands of years, and then, all of a sudden, in the space of a few years, Banting discovered it, Lilly made it and it was on the market. Extraordinary.

    I'm reasonably content with my T1, all things considered, but I can imagine medical historians in a hundred years time writing about how in year 20xx, some random dude figured out this chemical and that chemical, hey presto , T1 cure. To those future people, it will seem just as obvious as insulin is to us now.

    Anyone who thinks T1 will never be cured is in the same boat as the people who said heavier than air flight is impossible. We all might be long gone before it happens, but it will happen: we've barely scratched the surface of medicine.

    I'm not going to be placing any bets on Faustman, but she's having a stab at it, so respect. And to all the other scientists working away at this for us.

    Anyway, she's got wonderful, all over the place "mad scientist" hair, so maybe that improves the chances! Anyone with big hair gets my vote.

    download (3).jpg
     
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