Is cell therapy the key to a cure for diabetes?

by Mark Benson on September 22, 2012

Is cell therapy the key to a cure for diabetes?

There have been some dramatic breakthroughs with regards to cell therapy in many areas of medicine and there are rumours abound that a company in the US with links to Israel may well be on the verge of a cure for diabetes. We await further information about the company in question although it has been flagged by a share investment tip website which is giving little bits of information prior to the publication of detailed research. So is cell therapy the way forward for diabetes?

Diabetes

When you bear in mind the fact that diabetes was one of the first diseases mentioned by the ancient Greeks, Indians and Egyptians it is a scandal that we are nowhere near finding a cure today. It was not until 1922 that insulin was introduced as the first real treatment for diabetes and while it has made a significant impact on standards of living there is still much work to be done.

As we have mentioned in many of our earlier articles, diabetes is set to become one of the major medical challenges in the years ahead and indeed recent figures suggest that direct and indirect costs associated with type I diabetes and type II diabetes in America alone are now topping $165 billion per annum! This is a situation which needs to be resolved as soon as possible, this is a situation which is not only life challenging but could also break the banks of many governments around the world as well as having a significant impact upon the worldwide population. So what next?

Cell therapy challenges

One of the main problems in recent years has been the inability of scientists to unlock the key to replicating the pancreas and in particular the insulin creating cells. Quite why this has been such a challenge is a mystery to many people but despite the investment of billions upon billions of dollars it is proving very difficult to replicate although there are potential alternatives.

It is believed that a company based in America may well be on the verge of announcing detailed analysis of a process which could recreate these insulin creating cells in the liver. While the pancreas is the most obvious area in which insulin is created the reality is that as long as insulin is created somewhere within the body with direct access to the blood flow then it can and will assist in controlling blood sugar levels.

Why the secrecy?

Over the next few weeks no doubt we will hear more information about this potentially groundbreaking research but at this moment in time for some reason it is being kept under wraps. It has the potential to literally change the diabetes treatment and potential diabetes cure market overnight saving the lives of millions of people in years to come.

If we take a step back, while it may look unethical to keep this information under wraps and secret the reality is that the world of medicine is a very competitive arena and any information which falls into the hands of your competitors could be used against you. There is a suggestion that the company in question is on the verge of preparing evidence to the FDA which has the final ruling on all medical treatments in the USA. Any FDA approval of a treatment which would reduce the impact of diabetes or potentially cure diabetes would open the floodgates to a multibillion dollar business and literally change the make-up of any company overnight!

Is this new technology?

The idea of using other cells in the body to create insulin is not new and there has been some progress and some success in this area to date. Much of this testing has been undertaken using “guinea pigs” and no such treatment is yet known to be in human trials or anywhere near ready for market. There may be many companies on the verge of announcing similar trials, there may be many companies looking to use other cells in the body to create insulin so secrecy certainly does seem to be the name of the game at this moment in time.

Slowly but surely over the last few months we have seen developments in the world of diabetes treatment and potential diabetes cures which are encouraging. This is not to say we are anywhere near announcing a groundbreaking cure for diabetes but the fact is there does seem to be significant progress. Companies are literally pouring billions upon billions of dollars into a variety of different areas and different options to control and cure an array of medical conditions. At this moment in time, aside from the likes of cancer, there is no doubt that diabetes is up there with some of the most challenging and important medical conditions today.

Back to basics

Despite the fact that an array of new ideas and new angles regarding the treatment of diabetes have emerged over the years many researchers are now going back to basics and looking inwards to the body for potential cures. The reprogramming of cells and understanding the specific DNA of diabetes and diabetes sufferers is certainly attracting more focus today than it ever has. There are many different chemicals, bacteria, etc present in the body which may well contain the ammunition required to switch off and switch on a variety of different cells in the body to control and counteract an array of different medical conditions.

There is no doubt that the human body still holds many secrets, the human body is still a mystery to scientists and we have only just scratched the surface with regards to the array of chemicals, bacteria, etc in for example the “gut”. What next?

Conclusion

While a number of innocuous articles on the Internet commenting upon this potential breakthrough with regards to a cure for diabetes or a better treatment for diabetes have whet the appetite of many people there is still some way to go. However, it does look as though the way forward may well be to use elements within the body as ammunition to fight various medical conditions.

So, while for many years we have been looking outside of the human body perhaps the answer lies within?


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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