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He Said "Cure."

I don't believe everything I hear, and I'm very, very skeptical when it comes to news sources touting the new "cure" for diabetes.  

But Brian Williams said there was a breakthrough in a cure for type 1 diabetes.  He specified type 1.  He said it was an autoimmune disease.  He said developments could be made within a year.

He said "cure."

I watched the video.  My thoughts started running absolutely wild, with hope boiling up in me like the soup on the stove.  It's already been over two decades, but there's still so much of my life left.  Will I spend any of my future without diabetes?

I got up quietly and went into the bathroom.  I shut the door and turned on the fan and ran the faucet and cried, hard.  I didn't want anyone to hear me.  I just wanted to be by myself and just take a minute to feel.  

The newswire article stated, "Two popular leukemia drugs, Gleevec and Sutent, kept lab mice from developing type 1 diabetes and put 80 percent of diabetic mice in remission, an international team said on Monday."  For those of you who are working with these two cancer drugs that can help us, Gleevec (made my Novartis) and Sutent (made by Pfizer), please keep working on this research.  To Dr. Arthur Weiss of University of California, San Francisco, we need you to help find a cure for this disease. 

He said "cure." 

I said it, too, just to see what it would be like.  And it tasted so beautiful, so bitter, so foreign in my mouth.

I feel hope.


I remember 15 years ago when they said they'd have a 'cure' for MG withing 10 years. I can remember crying first, and becoming almost ..angry next. (sure it was false hope) (they'd cured it in a lab animal they'd caused it in)

Then thought ...if they can make me walk up a flight of stairs again ... I will be happy.

Today at school ... I walked not only UP a flight of stairs ...but down them as well ...across the campus ..and back again to walk up the stairs to get to my car.

AND ..this is a pisspoor day physically, I'm having a rough day.

Yeah .. not cured by a long shot.

But 18 years ago, I needed help to get dessed, and had trouble feeding myself.
Today is a bad day ..and I did my 'DREAM' of walking up a flight of stairs ..only did it up, down and up again.

Cure ....God I hope so ..but man! What a long way I've come!
(MG= Myasthenia Gravis ..also autoimmune using high risk drugs)

I am afraid to be hopeful, but Brian Williams sounded sooo excited, which somehow got me a little psyched.

Oops, sorry, Kerri, when I submitted my comment I didn't realize you already had the link in your blog!

Wow, another nail in the diabetes coffin. Thanks for putting up a pointer to the video.

Doesn't this just give you butterflies in your tummy?

Wow. I mean, really, wow. Thank you for posting this.

I am crying with you. My dad texted me as soon as he saw the report.

Can you imagine? I hope for so many things in my life....a cure was Never one of them. I kept it simple. Healthy teeth. Healthy skin. This T1 does not ask for much.

Can you imagine? I asked that already didn't I.....

I am not ready to let the C word escape my mouth though. I can feel the sweet taste of it hoovering. Wow. Simply wow.

To the rest of our lives Kerri. Without. Done. Gone. Cured. ;-)

I can't even imagine...


Have no clue how to feel.

I'm numb...

Both are Cancer drugs with side effects. While I was excited also, I am very sceptical if the treatement may not be worse than the "CURE".

Holy shit! Is this really happening? I'm having a hard time believing, but at the same time I can feel the tears welling in my eyes.

I've only been dealing with this for 3 years with my daughter....she's 5 now (diagnosed at 2). I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but yet I get all teary eyed thinking about it. I hope she will have a cure within her lifetime...and if it comes as early as within a year all the better! But again, trying not to get hopes up here!

It would be sooooo wonderful. I need to follow this to see if there are any setbacks. Don't mean to be pessimistic, but I always wonder about news of this sort. Prove me wrong.

Thanks for post.

My heart is racing ahead even though my brain is trying to put on the brakes. I feel it too.

Interesting, but I hesitate to get too excited. There are side effects to these drugs that may strongly outweigh the benefits.

He said cure. But, many have said that before. I will believe it when they inject a cure into me and it works. Not a mouse. Sorry to be a killjoy.

Living with type 1 diabetes for 19 years, I've gotten used to hearing the latest advancements or possible cures, but it seems they've all been talked about in terms of the next 10 or 15 years. This is the first I've heard where it seems possible to see results in the very near future. I'll never forget my father-in-law telling me I'd never see a cure in my lifetime. Oh how I hope he's proven wrong! I cried too and I will hold on to hope.

My friends call me an eternal optimist, but there's something that won't let me get excited about this or even entertain the possibility.
It must be a defence mechanism.
I wish I could share with the optimism, but I've been naively duped before, and it hurt - a lot - too much to let it happen again.

I had been flipping channels and stopped on NBC. I heard it too.
Am I brave enough to believe?

Cure.......it is a lovely word! :)

Why does this rodent cure give you hope over the countless other rodent cures we've heard over the years that never translated to work in humans? I read the side effects of these drugs -ouch.

Yesterday I heard Michelle McGann (LPGA) speak at a fundraiser. When she was diagnosed with diabetes 25 years ago they put her on cyclosporin. She had a period of remission (approx 5 years) and then it ceased working and she needed a kidney biopsy. So at what price do we pay for experimenting with immunosuppression in our (or loved one's) bodies?

I'm not enthused by rodent data - and even less so by a reporter's interpretation of a study.

Like you,I'm afraid to hope but it would be so mind-blowingly wonderful.

I understand the skepticism - believe me, I have been told "a cure is this close" for over twenty years now, but there was something about this attempt applying to existing type 1, using existing drugs that made me hopeful.

I don't experience a lot of hope for a cure. I don't spend my days waiting for it to happen. I accept diabetes and do my best. But I'm not going to keep from nurturing the good feeling this news report gave me. I don't often feel good feelings about diabetes, so I am going to enjoy these fleeting moments of hope.

It could all go poof tomorrow, this new cure attempt. But then again, it could work. I have no choice but to wait and see. But feeling good feels better than feeling hopeless, at least today.

Wow this is so exciting! My son is 8 years old and he was just diagnose with T1 on October 25th, 2008. It has turned out world upside down. He spent a few days at the hospital and now we are trying to get back into a semi normal life. I know we have only been at this for a short time, I can't imagine how it feels when it has been years. I hope for Ethan's sake (and everyone else with T1) see a cure in their lifetime!

After almost 29 years, I had pretty much given up any hope for a cure in my life-time. But talking to other bloggers and attending that DRI conference in October let a little hope come back. And this report lets a little more in. I started crying halfway through the video and haven't stopped yet. No, it may not be the answer. But I choose to focus on the fact that it also may. And if it is, I want a party with lots of chocolate and Johnny Depp too!!

I read about this on another blog this morning. And, I have to say I felt a little jaded. I used to say that I would never give up hope for a cure. I couldn't. My son ( and millions of others)needs one.

I guess I haven't given up hope. I still hope for a cure. I still want a cure. I want one with every fiber of my being. But, believing there is going to be one...that's where the pain comes from.

I read your post and I sat in my office and cried. I want to believe.

Wow....I had to watch it over and over. It brought tears to my eyes to think that we're getting closer and closer to a Cure.

What a great way to start the day.....

"Getting butterflies" is a perfect way to describe how I felt when I heard this. I'm thinking maybe, just maybe this sounds rational, because I absolutely believe that science can fix this. But I do not want my daughter hearing this - it would plant a near-term hope that is unfair.

In the last few years, scientists have linked more and more medical problems to autoimmune issues and inflammation. (I'm a former Crohn's sufferer, but I'm still wrestling with other inflammatory crap.) I have this wonderful gut feeling that we're on the verge of a breakthrough... I desperately hope so for your sake and for my dad's sake (he's one of those rare adults diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 56). Hang in there and believe!

Don't believe it for a sec myself. Cure equals hype. Taking massive immunosuppressive drugs might not be worth it with all the side effects. I do like the new once daily injectable that will release insulin at varying levels depending on sugars levels in the blood stream. I'm not holding out for an all out cure but for something that will make management much much easier.

Kerri, I got goose bumps watching the video. I hope that one day this comes true for you, my daughter, and everyone else with T1.

wow, I'm shaking and crying. There is something different about this news than any other news in the past. Something seemed real, seemed raw, seemed hopeful. I just don't know how to feel. Numb? Hopeful? Let down? The though of no more diabetes just confuses me to say the lest.

according to NPR this morning, it works better on those who were just diagnosed. I think you may need to still be able to produce some insulin (honeymooning), though i'm not sure.

I think I'm too jaded to get too hopeful myself, but I don't think we should write this off because of the side effects of the drugs. They're really nasty side effects, but they're temporary nasty side effects.

I heard this on NPR this morning and almost drove off the side of the road.

The story on NPR did specify that the drugs had to given to the mice "soon" after diagnoses to cure the T1. Not sure how to equate "soon" for a mouse as "soon" for people. They have rather abbreviated life cycles, so here's hoping. I was particularly pleased when they said that the 'cure' remained after taking the mice off of the cancer drugs.

Kerri, hope is a strong and powerful thing. I'm anxiously awaiting the results in either chimps or humans...

Shame on the media for not giving an accurate portrayal of this research.

From Dr. Bluestone:

Thank you for your e-mail. Unfortunately, the news account was misleading and did not accurately reflect the substance of the study that we have performed. Please read the information below to get a better sense of what was done in the study and the current prospects

The results published in PNAS journal are data from a mouse model of type 1 diabetes, and did not include any human research. The results in mouse models are very important, as they help researchers decide which treatments are most promising and therefore should be tested in humans. However, positive results in a mouse model does not mean that the drug will necessarily work in humans. Extensive testing in human clinical trials is required to prove that the drugs are safe and effective in people. It is important to understand that it generally takes years to test these drugs in humans.

Imatinib and sunitinib are believed to work by halting the autoimmune response that destroys the insulin-producing beta cells located in the pancreas. Therefore, human clinical trials must focus on patients who are in the early stages of type 1 diabetes – in other words, patients who still have some functioning beta cells left in their pancreas. It is important to note that in people who have had diabetes for a number of years and who have no functional beta cells left, imatinib and sunitinib would not be expected to have any effect.

While it is promising indeed that two drugs used against cancer could be of benefit in type 1 diabetes, it does not necessarily mean that they will be as safe if used against type 1 diabetes. These are very powerful drugs so the safety of the drugs, specifically for type 1 diabetes, will need to be tested in human clinical trials.

Human clinical trials of these drugs are currently being planned, but it may be sometime before they begin as the companies, funding agencies and food and Drug Administration will all have to be involved. Even once started, as is typical in the development of any drug, it will be several years before definitive results of imatinib and sunitinib in type 1 diabetes will be known.

“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all.” ~ emily dickenson.

Well, huh. It certainly sounds hopeful, but I am so leery of getting my hopes up only to have them dashed again that I will adopt a wait and see attitude on this as well. I'm not raining on any parades, I'm just sitting on the sidewalk, waving a very small flag.

There will be a cure.

I came back to watch the video again and saw this in the comments: "It is important to note that in people who have had diabetes for a number of years and who have no functional beta cells left, imatinib and sunitinib would not be expected to have any effect." How disappointing. Now I'm glad I did not send a link to the video to my diabetic friends.


Did you meet Michelle McGann?? She rocks...I don't know why JDRF doesn't use her more...she is a terrific role model.

When Emma was taking methotrexate, another cancer drug, we noticed that her BG was much more stable and easier to control. It makes sense really, those cancer drugs stop cells from replicating (including those that attack and kill beta cells). So my first fear is one that was confirmed above, that those who have had T1 for some time may not be helped, but my guess is that a beta cell transplant in conjunction with that therapy could be the answer.

For the record, Ellen doesn't care for ANY treatment or hope that doesn't involve stem cells. Myself, I'll take what I can get.

Hi Kerrie - I was searching on this subject and came across your blog post; I also ran across a human study published in 201 - Effect of the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (sunitinib, sorafenib, dasatinib, and imatinib) on blood glucose levels in diabetic and nondiabetic patients in general clinical practice.- J Oncol Pharm Pract. 2010 Aug 4.

Have you heard any more on this?

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