Recently, scientists from Harvard University and MIT have shown that it is possible to ‘cure’ diabetes for long periods of time without the need for pancreatic islet transplants.
This novel ‘cure’ is based on a method for mass-producing insulin-secreting beta cells discovered by Harvard University in 2014, but has only now been tested on animals. When these cells were transplanted into mice, it was found that the disease ‘switched off’ for 6 months, which if implemented into humans could potentially delay diabetes for several years.
With this breakthrough, daily insulin injections could become but a distant memory for the 400,000 or so type 1 diabetics in the UK, finally giving them the freedom to eat what they want without constantly worrying about their blood sugar levels.
However, it is likely that it will take several years for human trials to take place, and will be even longer for the therapy to be implemented outside of clinical trials. Still, it is encouraging to see that progress is being made in realising a cure for diabetes mellitus.
Cure for Type 1 diabetes imminent after Harvard stem-cell breakthrough; both from telegraph.co.uk, by Sarah Knapton