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Diabetic Men May Be Able To Grow Their Own Insulin-Producing Cells

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the presto-chango dept.

Medicine 148

An anonymous reader writes "Men with type 1 diabetes may be able to grow their own insulin-producing cells from their testicular tissue, say Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) researchers who presented their findings today at the American Society of Cell Biology 50th annual meeting in Philadelphia. Their laboratory and animal study is a proof of principle that human spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) extracted from testicular tissue can morph into insulin-secreting beta islet cells normally found in the pancreas. And the researchers say they accomplished this feat without use of any of the extra genes now employed in most labs to turn adult stem cells into a tissue of choice."

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Great! (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530216)

Sweet news.

Re:Great! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530248)

Sweet news.

Of all the luck, I was just castrated last week and now I find out.

Re:Great! (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530310)

Yes, unfortunately now you don't have the balls to do it. Figuratively, and literally.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530426)

Is that you, Barry Munday?

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530428)

I'm so excited, I could bust a nut!

Re:Great! (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530556)

Sweet news about sweetbreads [wikipedia.org]

Re:Great! (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530814)

I'd take this article with a grain of salt.

Re:Great! (5, Funny)

severoon (536737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530960)

Men have always been able to create insulin-producing cells from their testicles...usually, though, they arrive with a baby wrapped around them...

Oh, the irony (3, Funny)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531976)

spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) extracted from testicular tissue

And all that time, I was extracting spermatogonial cells from my testicular tissue and I didn't know how useful they could be! :-)

Next diabetic-meeting: (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530218)

They took our balls!

Re:Next diabetic-meeting: (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530240)

You jest, but I was reading the title, and had this reaction:
Diabetic Men
Hmm, I'm not diabetic, but I am a man, this could be interesting
May Be Able To Grow
?
Their Own
????
Insulin-
meh

Re:Next diabetic-meeting: (2)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530986)

You jest, but I was reading the title, and had this reaction:
Diabetic Men
Hmm, I'm not diabetic, but I am a man, this could be interesting
May Be Able To Grow
?
Their Own
????
Insulin-
meh

from their testicular tissue.
ARGH!

Re:Next diabetic-meeting: (1)

Mordie (1943326) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531550)

(diabetic-support group) (man walks out) (man turns corner) (man enters door) (post testicular loss support group) (BRAND NEW LOCATION)..... speaking as a man, as men do, “this is not an appealing idea”

Re:Next diabetic-meeting: (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34532250)

Getting diabetes fixed is great.

Getting castigated or bawled out -- not so much.

Autoimmune Issues? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530242)

Since one of the thoughts(at least what they told me was the cause 15 years ago) for the Type 1 Diabetes it is an autoimmune disease, how long is it until the immune system will just attack the new insulin producing cells?

The article mentions "immune deficient diabetic mice," so the autoimmune question remains.

Re:Autoimmune Issues? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530718)

Yes, Type I is an auto-immune disease. Like many such diseases, it can lie dormant for a long time until something triggers the immune system into activity - such as, for example, puberty. So, who knows, unless you're going through a second childhood - do you have urges to get a sports car and dump your significant other for some arm candy?

-- barbie

Temporary solution? (4, Insightful)

Eudial (590661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530246)

From what I understand (and this may very well be wrong), Type 1 diabetes is when the immune system breaks down beta islets leaving one unable to produce insulin. So wouldn't this be a highly temporary fix, before the immune system goes to town again?

If so, I don't know if a lifetime of being stabbed in the balls is preferable to a lifetime of insulin injections.

Re:Temporary solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530264)

If so, I don't know if a lifetime of being stabbed in the balls is preferable to a lifetime of insulin injections.

"IV drip?"
"Eww... that sounds like it could be pleasurable though."

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530284)

I don't know if a lifetime of being stabbed in the balls is preferable to a lifetime of insulin injections.

Well it was David Carradine's second favorite hobby, hey what happened to him anyways?

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530798)

Well it was David Carradine's second favorite hobby, hey what happened to him anyways?

Last I heard, he was just hanging around.

Re:Temporary solution? (3, Interesting)

wood_dude (1548377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530334)

As sombody with Type 1, this is indeed the problem with most 'fixes' for the problem. You have to stop the transplanted cells from being destroyed again. There was somthing call 'pig sushi' that I heard about a while ago, that had pig Beta cells wrapped in an coating that stopped the immune system from getting at them. I havn't heard any more on that, but it did tackle the problem head on. Chris

Re:Temporary solution? (2)

kiwi_james (512638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531564)

There was somthing call 'pig sushi' that I heard about a while ago, that had pig Beta cells wrapped in an coating that stopped the immune system from getting at them.

I havn't heard any more on that, but it did tackle the problem head on.

The trials are continuing as we speak here in New Zealand. The company concerned is Living Cell Technologies [lctglobal.com]

And there is an article describing it here [nzherald.co.nz]

It's a very clever solution that solves the rejection issue. The main questions are on how much insulin can be produced and over what time period. The reality is that anything that introduces at least some reasonable level of insulin production - even if not enough to eliminate injections - should reduce the extreme blood sugar highs that cause the most long term damage to Type 1 diabetics.

It will be fantastic if this can succeed (like all of the other potential cures to this disease).

The horrid ethics of "using" others (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 3 years ago | (#34532218)

I'm from Invercargill, New Zealand. Right now, I'm about ... 20KM or so from the "Living Cell Technologies facility", or so we can suppose, the location is "top secret".

Its a very interesting topic, I am Vegan, I see it as absolutely *horrid* that we would even think of harming other animals, we would not do this to Human animals...or would we?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guatemala_syphilis_experiment [wikipedia.org]

What do you think happens in Gitmo, and Area 51?

As a local of the area, I can speak more in detail of what goes on, of the coverage at a local, and national level. Its basically treated as the second coming of jesus, that his will be a miracle cure, and *MOST IMPORTANTLY*, that our Mayor claims all the credit, for all the money that this WILL (because its going to succeed dammit) bring to the area.

For more on their story, of being left on a bunch of rocks just before Antartica for Whalers to kill, of being designated "an introduced species", who MUST be killed by our Department of "Conservation", apart from a few kept alive as a novelty, please visit my blog post. I include an Australian news video which shows a tour of the awful facility. To my knowledge, this sort of coverage has never occurred in my area, where this is happening, perhaps for fear of public backlash. I also include a letter I wrote to my local newspaper, which was answered by LCT:

http://coexistingwithnonhumananimals.blogspot.com/2010/05/video-of-pig-transplant-facility-in.html [blogspot.com]

To what end will we abuse others? Its as easy to be Vegan as not, and its the least other animals deserve.

To learn more about Veganism, please visit http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/ [abolitionistapproach.com] or try one these podcasts http://coexistingwithnonhumananimals.blogspot.com/2010/07/vegan-info.html [blogspot.com]

Jordan Wyatt
Invercargill Vegan Society

Re:Temporary solution? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530400)

This is exactly why I masturbate every night and swallow my own cum. My family has a history of diabetes and I am doing everything to prevent it from happening to me. Most of my thoughts will be on the porn but a small amount will be thinking about this article when I masturbate tonight.

Re:Temporary solution? (1, Troll)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530742)

This is exactly why I masturbate every night and swallow my own cum. My family has a history of diabetes and I am doing everything to prevent it from happening to me. Most of my thoughts will be on the porn but a small amount will be thinking about this article when I masturbate tonight.

Too bad slashdot hasn't fixed the bug that lets you see the anonymous posters identity when you view the source ...

-- barbie

Re:Temporary solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530880)

He might have a barbie already at home. Also, the post makes a fine signature for a social media or a dating site. Moderation takes part of the joke as well: the answer to Type-1 diabetes gets Score-1, although that's a forced one, red in the face, vein close to bursting.

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530406)

They are currently doing islet cell transplants (from organ donors) which actually have a pretty good success rate, the longest being 11 years ago (to current) without rejection. Although you are correct, stopping the process from happening again is one of the main problems they are trying to solve.

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530510)

It's possible that the new cells would not have the same markers as the original ones did.

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530532)

I doubt if it would actually require multiple injections on a daily basis that is if it needed repeating regularly.

A controlled insulin release would lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputations, nerve damage erectile dysfunction and randomly dying in your sleep. plus minor advantages such as better energy levels and a less reactive digestive system. Plus the cost of maintaining healthy insulin levels would probably be cheaper since your body is now producing the needed insulin and plus the added bonus of a longer healthy life where you might actually see retirement and your grand children.

Type 2 diabetics tend to not produce enough insulin and historically would eventually need insulin shots which makes me think if it was successful it would be used for type 2's at some point. On the positive side there are other options such as byetta for type 2 diabetics which may preserve the beta cells and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Of course there are increased risks of other body functions failing one drug Avandia was recently banned in Europe because of increased risk of heart disease, at the time of the ban there was around 100,000 people being proscribed Avandia in the UK alone. I believe its still available in the USA since it had been approved by the FDA but it's use is now discouraged.

Modern treatment for type 1 diabetics is to wear an insulin pump which constantly monitors and adjusts the insulin feed. Injecting isn't the big deal its control, getting the dosage right. It's not that difficult to find injection sites which are pain free.

I hope now you can see that being injected in the balls isn't that big a deal if the procedure leads to a normal insulin response. One of the problems with diabetes is that the damage of bad control isn't immediately visible and maintaining good control is very hard.

It would be nice if insulin shots actually solved the problem of type 1 diabetes but it doesn't it just slows the rate of damage such that you might get a normal length life but there are type 1 diabetics who die before reaching 30 even doing the right things.

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

chriscappuccio (80696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530992)

not quite. type II usually over-produce insulin to the point where the beta cells die off

this is due to chronically high sugar/carbohydrate ingestion

taubes anyone?

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531508)

Interesting idea, but then wouldn't this show up in pre diabetics an over production of insulin would be detectable before the beta cells began to fail? If too much insulin was produced then wouldn't there be abnormally low blood sugar counts?

However I think i'm right in thinking that when someone is diagnosed as type 2 they are not producing enough insulin to maintain healthy levels.

btw this page seems interesting
http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/14046621.php [phlaunt.com]

I'd like to see your statement backed up somewhere
taubes may have some interesting idea's but he has no medical training

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Taubes [wikipedia.org]

"On October 19, 2007, Taubes appeared on Larry King Live to discuss his book. Although Taubes has no formal training in nutrition or medicine, his book was praised as "raising interesting and valuable points" by Dr. Andrew Weil, a believer of alternative medicine, while Dr. Mehmet Oz and trainer Jillian Michaels who appeared on the same program disagreed with Taubes on many questions"

I would agree with some of his stand carbs are pretty much as bad as sugars for diabetics and they seem to be out of proportion for diabetics if not the general population. But i'm no doctor but i think the more green stuff in your diet the better you will be for it.

Re:Temporary solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34532084)

You are, in many cases, mistaken. The insulin resistance common to many Type 2 diabetics leads to elevated insulin levels. This triggers hunger, *triggering* at least some of the weight gain perceived as the "cause" of diabetes for many Type 2 suffferers. This is why drugs that improve insulin sensitivity can work so well for Type 2 patients, they've typically got *plenty* of insulin in early treatment.

A fast google search reveals dozens of references, many as unreliable as the "alternative medicine" guru you mention, but plenty of credible references to the elevated insulin levels. And they're clinically demonstrable quite easily, if you bother to actually test it rather than merely treat it.

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

chriscappuccio (80696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531000)

auto-immune reaction for type I may be triggered by something as simple as wheat

see celiac disease

also simple to avoid.......if you are willing to change your diet

Re:Temporary solution? (3, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531060)

Modern treatment for type 1 diabetics is to wear an insulin pump which constantly monitors and adjusts the insulin feed. Injecting isn't the big deal its control, getting the dosage right.

Not to be mean, but your facts are wrong. It's not a "demand pump", contrary to what you say. You have to test, and adjust it accordingly [wikipedia.org] . I've seen people who use pumps who are on this crazy "test 10-20 times a day" routine to avoid reactions any time they vary their routine even a bit. No thanks. I control the disease, not the other way around.

The pump is a disaster. Sure, some people report a better quality of life - but that's because, for diabetics, life with insulin via any technique is better than life without.

I'll stick with the "see-food" technique - I see the food in front of me, I take the shot. Then I eat.

The worst part if you're trying to do the basal-bolus dosage thing is the weight gain. The reactions, chowing down on emergency calories, and associated weight gain when life interferes with your routine are very counter-productive in the long run.

Not to mention that with the pump you HAVE to eat when it's time - or else. Life isn't that neat. You can be stuck in traffic for an hour, or have to work late, or be with friends and everyone is having too much fun, or someone burnt the burgers, so supper is going to be delayed for a few hours.

While both the pump and the basal-bolus routine sound good in theory, they often suck in practice.

Better to let your blood sugar go up a couple of points temporarily, than to pass out from an insulin reaction, then have it shoot through the roof when you scarf on high-sugar-content junk.

I dropped everything but a shot of the quick-acting insulin every meal, with a follow-up if I eat (or if I'm at a party, drink) more than I expected. It's worked for more than 2 decades (except for one time when I took my shot, got distracted, forgot to eat, went to walk the dogs, and passed out), has given me a LOT more freedom than I could have on any other routine, I still have all my fingers and toes, and I'll never go back to any other routine. And comparing notes, I'm not alone.

It's not that difficult to find injection sites which are pain free.

Ouch! Speak for yourself :-) You eventually have to rotate injection sites no matter what.

-- barbie

Re:Temporary solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34531354)

Not to mention that with the pump you HAVE to eat when it's time - or else. Life isn't that neat. You can be stuck in traffic for an hour, or have to work late, or be with friends and everyone is having too much fun, or someone burnt the burgers, so supper is going to be delayed for a few hours.

What? That's not correct. If you have your basal set correctly, you could go all day without eating and your blood sugar would remain pretty much constant. You manually bolus for the meals (counting carbs, etc.) That's the whole point of a pump over a combination of slow and long acting insulins. How do keep you blood sugars in a good range in the middle of the night if you aren't taking any long-acting insulin???

If you are trying to achieve very good blood sugar control, the insulin pump is the best thing since sliced bread. But, as I've found recently, CGM (continuous glucose monitors) are the best thing since... what was the best thing before sliced bread?

dan

Re:Temporary solution? (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531532)

What works as a basal dose in one situation can be a massive overdose in another. Situations change, not just from day to day, but hour to hour.

What would be an acceptable dose, knowing that you're going to eat in 4 hours, doesn't work if you're delayed an additional 4 hours. Or if you suddenly have to do a lot of physical stuff for a few hours, your "safe basal dose" will put you flat out on the floor.

It's not as neat and tidy as the ads from the pump manufacturers would have you believe, if your activity level isn't the standard north american "sit on your fanny 15 hours a day". We're not lab rats living in controlled conditions, or test subjects leading a specific regimen.

I keep my sugar within the normal range at night by taking enough rapidly-acting insulin to take care of my supper and then some. And before going to be, I walk the dogs for a half hour. Sure, it will rise a bit over night, but as long as it stays within norms, I don't care, and neither should anyone else. It's within the norms - so what's the panic?

Also, some of the advice is just plain dangerous:

A pre-bolus of insulin will mitigate a spike in blood sugar that results from eating high glycemic foods. Infused insulin analogs such as NovoLog and Apidra typically begin to impact blood sugar levels 15 or 20 minutes after infusion. As a result, easily digested sugars often hit the bloodstream much faster than infused insulin intended to cover them, and the blood sugar level spikes upward as a result. If the bolus were to be infused 20 minutes before eating, then the pre-bolused insulin will be hitting the bloodstream simultaneously with the digested sugars to control the magnitude of the spike.

Stuff happens. Taking insulin 20 minutes before a meal? Want to try that heading for a meal in a busy restaurant? If the food isn't in front of you. don't take the insulin unless you want to risk a nasty reaction when the food is delayed a half hour, or there's a power failure, or you find out that the place you were all heading is too full to serve you.

The body's needs change with the temperature, exertion level, stress, etc. Your blood sugar going up a bit during a meal won't kill you (it happens naturally anyway) - stepping in front of a moving car because you're disoriented from low blood sugar can.

The pump is not a replacement for:

  1. Normal body weight
  2. Lots of exercise
  3. Healthy lifestyle

Practice these, and you probably won't NEED a pump to stay within the normal range. Not only that, but it improves your body's sensitivity to insulin, so you need less (and as a result, are less likely to overdose if you do have to expend more energy than planned).

I remember when I started with the slow-acting insulin. I found out that I wasn't the only one who packed on the pounds - the AVERAGE weight gain was 30 pounds the first year. Every one I talked to quit, despite the team of doctors advice.

Sure enough, a decade later it was shown we were right and the doctors were wrong. The "benefits" were more than offset by the weight gains. It's not just Type 2 diabetics who gain unwanted weight when treated. The mechanism for type 1 is different - not only do higher insulin levels stimulate the appetite, but insulin reactions force you to eat junk calories, and reactions, no matter what, are a fact of life because, as I pointed out, life is messy. Better to avoid some of those reactions by not using a pump if you can.

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531536)

I inject twice a day into the sides of my stomach usually if i struggle to find a good spot on one side then the other side is usually pain free.

I'm a type II and it sucks but I really wouldn't want to be a type I, people seem to think its pretty easy living with diabetes and also don't see how it effects our quality and length of life. Which would make it easier to choose a needle in the nuts in order to live a normal life. Would prefer not to have to do that but if it made diabetes go away even for a few months at a time it might be worth it.

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531604)

The belly is my favorite place too. There's just no "pinch an inch" anywhere else.

Sometimes, in the summer, I'll inject in the upper thigh if I'm wearing shorts or a skirt, but doing that sometimes means hitting muscle, and that not only burns, but it means the insulin enters the blood stream faster than I would want.

Of course, being type 1 has it's advantages - as long as I keep my weight and sugar levels within range, I can eat anything I want, including chocolate. Especially chocolate! (Don't worry, tonight will be strawberries, melon chunks, and grapes. I save the chocolate thing for when I really need a morale boost - it's cheaper than shopping for new shoes :-)

Sure, I gave up adding sugar to tea or coffee (I actually don't even keep white sugar in the house any more), and switched to diet soft drinks (which I have since stopped drinking), and don't visit the donut shop any more - big deal, right :-)

But I have a sister who's was diagnosed as type 2 a couple of years ago (she used to get gestational diabetes, so it was kind of expected), Has she done anything about it? No. Why not? She won't give up her Pepsi. And she won't switch to diet. And she won't stop smoking.

And she says I'M stubborn?

Diabetes sucks. The only things that suck more are the complications when it's ignored, and the ignorance of people who don't realize that a large portion of the population are being set up to fail and die because of the HFCS in most foods today.

-- barbie

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

PongStroid (178315) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531558)

Not to mention that with the pump you HAVE to eat when it's time - or else.

I'm a Type 1, and have been on an insulin pump for 13 years. Pumps afford the exact opposite of what you say here. The basal rates you program into the pump should allow you, when done correctly, to NOT eat at all - if you ignore plain old hunger. If you're having to ingest carbs to counteract your basal dosages, you're doing it wrong - and I can't state this strongly enough. Bolus dosages - e.g. the ones you take when you eat - work exactly like your eat/shot strategy you describe. A type 1's blood sugar will rise - in the absence of both food and insulin - and I'd be really surprised if this wasn't the case for you.

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531688)

How active are you?

The problem with the pump is that if, like me, your energy output varies a lot during the day, it's not only useless, but a hazard. It's suitable for people with a more or less sedentary lifestyle (cue everyone going "but that's not me!").

I'm outdoors walking for almost 2 hours every morning and again every evening, wind, rain, or snow. You do 15k a day in -20 weather, you'd be amazed at how many calories that consumes :-)

There is no way to get a proper baseline with that sort of activity pattern. It would be so low that it would be non-existent, which means that the entire dose has to fall to mealtime injections anyway.

It also helps explain why my blood sugar doesn't go up that quickly when I don't eat. I'm just too gosh-darned busy, so a little insulin goes a long way.

My decision to go green a couple of years ago is paying off health-wise in a big way. I've reduced my insulin dose by more than half, lost that extra 5 pounds that's been bugging me, and at the end of the day, I still have lots of energy, which is a good thing, because the dogs have got to be walked, no matter how I feel, and the Newfie doesn't care how cold it is, he wants to stay outside as long as possible.

So no, I'm not "doing it wrong" - lots of exercise should be a core requirement for every diabetic. An hour a day *might* be sufficient, but certainly an hour 3 times a week isn't. Might as well get no exercise at all - at least you're not fooling yourself into thinking you're making a significant impact on your health.

It's work - but it's worth it. I can eat whatever foods I want, when I want, and that's something most diabetics can only dream of.

-- Barbie

Re:Temporary solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34531908)

Not to mention that with the pump you HAVE to eat when it's time - or else.

WTF! Every modern insulin pump allows on-demand boluses. The do have a programmable basal rate profile, but this is only used to adjust for varying metabolic activity. For example a slightly lower rate at night and a slightly higher rate in the morning. I have my Omnipod pump tuned such that I can go all day without eating with no reactions (assuming no exercise).

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531972)

have my Omnipod pump tuned such that I can go all day without eating with no reactions (assuming no exercise).

So what you're saying is that if there's any change in routine, the pump will mess you up if you forget/get to busy/whatever.

Pumps are not a cure-all, and don't do any better than injections on an ad-hoc basis for people who have a varied routine.

Re:Temporary solution? (4, Informative)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530610)

Yes, the root problem is autoimmune, but we already have a way to correct this, google "Edmunton Protocol" - the participants were effectively cured. The problem was a lack of islet cells (insulin producing cells) to do much good - it takes like 5 donor cadavers to cure 1 diabetic, so there's insufficient supply to handle even 1/100 of the diabetic patients.

But something like this just might provide cures for millions of sufferers, without fear of tissue rejection! As father of a type 1 diabetic son, this is a big, big, BIG deal!

Hooray!

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

JohnWiney (656829) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531012)

"Edmunton Protocol" produced nothing interesting. "Edmonton Protocol" was more effective.

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

ProfBooty (172603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531446)

thats strange it popped up a list of results for me.

either way its old news and not a full cure

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530622)

You can also become a Type-1 diabetic as a result of pancreatic cancer or the surgery to stop said cancer. This solution hold great potential in that case.

Re:Temporary solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530852)

In the late 90's I remember hearing about research into encapsulating islet cells in semi-permeable capsules that let insulin out, but not immune cells in. They hoped to implant these capsules in a Type 1's liver as a durable treatment. Coupled with research like that, or the work that Dr Faustman [dailymail.co.uk] is doing at Massachusetts General, this looks like the kind of progress that would have saved my father, or might save me from dying young with complications.

It's good to know that progress is being made. A cure has been promised "within the next 5 years" for as long as I can remember. You start to get jaded after awhile.

Re:Temporary solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530894)

This is exactly right. There have been at least 2 partially successful research efforts to control this immune problem for Type 1 diabetes, one of them at the University of West Virginia, purchased and so far as anyone can tell, buried by Eli Lilly (one of the major manufacturers of insulin and diabetic supplies) The other is very interesting, by Dr. Faustman at Mass. General Hospital. It's ready for human testing: it seems that once you control the immune problem, that adult stem cells shift to insulin producing cells basically curing Type 1 diabetes. The treatment she found is a well known tuburculosis treatment, and *I want it* for my wife, whom I'd love to be free from the glucose testing and the diet issues.

Check out www.faustmanlab.org for more details.

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

kubernet3s (1954672) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531328)

The beta islet cells are caught in the crossfire when the immune system attacks a triggering infection. People with diabetes can have their islet cells replaced, as evidenced by the utility of pacreas transplants.

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531820)

From what I understand (and this may very well be wrong), Type 1 diabetes is when the immune system breaks down beta islets leaving one unable to produce insulin. So wouldn't this be a highly temporary fix, before the immune system goes to town again?

If so, I don't know if a lifetime of being stabbed in the balls is preferable to a lifetime of insulin injections.

Yes, it is due to an autoimmune process. However, there are certain parts of the body that are immunologically protected, such as the brain and testes. If the islet cells were to stay in these immunologically protected areas they may continue doing what they're doing unhindered.

Re:Temporary solution? (1)

Amlothi (207848) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531848)

If you read the article, it notes that the effects were short term (~1 week). However, it doesn't say why. Probably because they haven't actually fixed the cause of the diabetes, which, as you noted, is often autoimmune in nature.

It sounds to me kind of like this:

Problem: My car isn't moving.
Reason: There isn't any fuel.
Solution: Push the car down the hill.

They are "fixing" the problem while ignoring the actual cause of the problem. Therefore, the problem will continue to reappear.

I guess we'll have to wait for the actual paper to be published before we can really discuss the science intelligently. In the meantime, we have a fancy headline that people will forget by the time the actual paper comes out and we realize that the headline is complete BS. According to the article, the research team is presenting it at a meeting currently. I presume this means that they haven't completed writing up their findings yet. (I couldn't find the article online.)

The problem with science reporting in the mainstream media is that they jump on anything that can be given an interesting headline, but the reporters never understand (or bother to analyze critically) the actual science. This is an ongoing problem and annoyance to many scientists who would prefer that the public not be misled.

For example, the Slashdot article posted a few days ago about 2 father mice producing offspring. In one paragraph, the media is saying "We can save species from extinction even if there are no females left!" and "This will allow gay couples to have their own offspring". In the very next paragraph, they are explaining that the researchers also needed 1) a blastocyst, and 2) a female womb. Do they bother to care or speculate where we are going to get those things if there are no females involved? Of course not.

Type 2? (1)

thammoud (193905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530252)

I suffer from type 2 diabetes. I wonder why this is only applicable for type 1.

Re:Type 2? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530312)

Because you can just stop eating.

Re:Type 2? (2)

Mprx (82435) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530328)

In type 2 the beta cells are intact, but various other cells aren't responding to insulin normally. You can't just replace missing cells because the cells are still present.

Re:Type 2? (2)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530332)

They're different. Type 1 is a failure to produce insulin and, while a PITA, is essentially easy to deal with via insulin injections. Type 2 (aka acquired) is a failure to respond to/use insulin properly, so producing more doesn't make anything better. Mixing them up is dangerous, and medication for Type 1 or 2 can cause severe problems (e.g. death) if used by the other.

Re:Type 2? (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530366)

Then why are they even called the same name? You'd think someone would have thought to rename one as anti-diabetes.

Re:Type 2? (3, Insightful)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530414)

Actually, diabetes really refers to excess urine. What we normally call diabetes is diabetes mellitus, which means "sweet urine" (mellitus being sweet, similar to Apis mellifera, the honeybee). Diabetes insipidus refers to excess, non-sweet urine (insipidus meaning "plain, without taste" a la insipid).

That being said, once something is standardized, scientists tend not to rename things the way they should be. The best example is, of course, the flow of current, but issues with IUPAC nomenclature and the periodic table in general are rife with oddities as well. The best place for things to actually get renamed properly is probably the binomial classification of species, but even that can be severely entrenched (recent hubbub over D. melanogaster). That, and psychology and the DSM, but you know how those people are...

Re:Type 2? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530862)

Actually, diabetes really refers to excess urine. What we normally call diabetes is diabetes mellitus, which means "sweet urine" (mellitus being sweet, similar to Apis mellifera, the honeybee).

So Sweet Pee from Popeye might have Juvenile Diabetes? Oh, and ewww. Who went around comparing urine, and did they do a double blind taste test?

Re:Type 2? (1)

chriscappuccio (80696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531006)

diabetes is often diagnosed by doctors finding out of control ketoacidosis through your urine

Re:Type 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530430)

For the same reason Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder has not been renamed Executive Fucntion Disorder or, earlier, at least just Attention Regulation and Surplus Disorder. Medical nomenclature has enourmous inertia.

Re:Type 2? (1)

KingCarrot (897403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530502)

Then why are they even called the same name? You'd think someone would have thought to rename one as anti-diabetes.

Because back in the old days before they figured out exactly what the problem was, the primary medical indicator was excess levels of sugar in the urine. Which is why it in several languages is known commonly as "suger-disease".

Re:Type 2? (4, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531110)

Then why are they even called the same name? You'd think someone would have thought to rename one as anti-diabetes.

Because back in the old days before they figured out exactly what the problem was, the primary medical indicator was excess levels of sugar in the urine. Which is why it in several languages is known commonly as "suger-disease".

And before they had fancy tests, they would diagnose it by the taste of the urine (sweet) and the smell of acetone or over-ripe peaches on the breath (diabetic ketoacidosis).

Cue all the jokes about "this beer tastes like warm p***".

Given that half the population doesn't even know they have diabetes, knowing the visible symptoms is useful:

  1. The smell of acetone or peaches on the breath, as mentioned above
  2. Excess urination (as the body tries to flush out the excess sugar through the urine)
  3. Excess thirst (as the body tries to replace the water lost)
  4. Lack of energy
  5. Want to go to sleep after eating, as the blood sugar levels go through the roof
  6. Munchies for high-calorie items (the body isn't getting it's energy via the normal metabolism of carbohydrates, so it uses an alternate, less efficient route, resulting in lots of ketones, and the acetone smell on the breath)

The good news - it's treatable, and done right, you will live as long, or longer, than your peers since you'll HAVE to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

The bad news - if you don't treat it, you'll probably die younger than you should, after losing fingers, toes, feet, etc.

More bad news - if you smoke, the combination of diabetes and smoking has probably already taken a decade off your life, and if you don't quit, your long-term prognosis still sucks. Ugly facts [diabetesmonitor.com] .

The good news - if you quit smoking before there's permanent visible damage, there's a good chance you'll get most of that back.

-- barbie

Re:Type 2? (1)

FishTankX (1539069) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531996)

And in Chinese and Japanese, it's known as 'Sugar pee disease'

Re:Type 2? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530546)

That happens when two diseases with the same symptoms are around long enough to get an established name before they are determined to have two different causes.

Producing More (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531442)

Type 2 (aka acquired) is a failure to respond to/use insulin properly, so producing more doesn't make anything better.

Wrong. One of the common medication for Type 2 is sulfonyureas - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfonylurea [wikipedia.org]

They act my making the pancreas produce more insulin.

Re:Type 2? (2)

elsJake (1129889) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530360)

Yes it is , type 1 only.
For you I'd recommend picking up body-building , it would solve your problem.
Check out the diets and exercises on http://www.abcbodybuilding.com/ , they're meant to promote insulin sensitivity , exactly what you are missing.
I am not a doctor but still , I'm confident it would help you.

Re:Type 2? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530652)

Check your testosterone levels. Testosterone is well known to improve insulin sensitivity, which is good in your case. Nearly 50% of diabetics have low testosterone values. In addition to responding to insulin, you'll get better results when exercising and you'll generally feel better.

Re:Type 2? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531134)

Check your testosterone levels. Testosterone is well known to improve insulin sensitivity, which is good in your case. Nearly 50% of diabetics have low testosterone values.

Well, that would be a GOOD THING(TM) in most populations with a 50:50 male-female ratio, wouldn't it?

Re:Type 2? (1)

chriscappuccio (80696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531018)

type 2 diabetics, through insistence on continuing high carbohydrate intake, tend to destroy insulin producing beta cells through chronically high levels of insulin (and high levels of liver insulin resistance due to chronically high insulin levels)

so if you can reverse type 2 via diet change (mostly eliminate carbohydrate intake, replace with fat) then you can regain beta cell function through magic like this, and actually get rid of many of the effects

see www.paleonu.com

Recipient still req to be immune deficient (1)

PdbAqB (1534237) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530256)

Great advance; however, the problem isthat it still requires the recipient to be immune deficient i.e. the testes with beta cell islet cell characteristics were transplanted into the back of immune deficient mice

Now (3, Funny)

gone.fishing (213219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530260)

That takes balls.

Re:Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530368)

That takes balls away.

Re:Now (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530398)

That takes balls away.

And now, not just in Soviet Russia.

Re:Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530782)

Now that is just nuts.

And the obvious question (2)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530286)

If I grow my own insulin-producing cells at home can I sell them to diabetics in other states?

Re:And the obvious question (2)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530380)

I'm guessing it's illegal to sell your balls in Texas or something like that...

Re:And the obvious question (2)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530540)

The Catholic church simply will not stand for this!

"CHILDREN:
Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

GIRL:
Let the heathen spill theirs
On the dusty ground.
God shall make them pay for
Every sperm that can't be found."

Etc...

Re:And the obvious question (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530598)

Why should it matter to me what old guys in women's dresses think? For all I care, they could suck my dick, but I'd guess I'm way too old for them to take that offer.

Re:And the obvious question (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530454)

since women can't do this, just invite any hot female diabetics over for a round of personalized care, including injections of... insulin

Which part?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530316)

of the testicles!?

Re:Which part?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530628)

The whole one, for each attempt.

The summary sounds so selfish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530382)

I'm more interested in helping women who need insulin injections. I'm a humanitarian that way.

Re:The summary sounds so selfish (1)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530412)

If she's a teabagger, you're in luck!

MOD PARENT FUCKIN' HILARIOUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530738)

"You're not the administrator of me. You can't tell ME how to mod!" :P

Re:The summary sounds so selfish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530676)

I'm more interested in helping women who need insulin injections. I'm a humanitarian that way.

Just hope for the Type-1 Diabetics. Most Type-2 diabetics are very overweight.

Some clarification... (4, Interesting)

Guidii (686867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530492)

Okay, so I read TFA. As a diabetic, I had to. Hope I don't get kicked off slashdot.

Some key points: They took spermatogonial stem cells (SSC's) from testicular tissue of deceased organ donors (not from diabetic patients) and observed that some of these cells would turn into insulin producing beta cells in a test tube. They injected these cells into mice, and found that the mice had reduced glucose levels for a week.

This is pretty exciting news, since the alternative source of beta cells is to extract them from the pancreas of deceased organ donors. (This was done in the Edmonton Protocol [slashdot.org] .)

Re:Some clarification... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530570)

Yes, however it still suffers from the same issue as most of the other 'gene' or 'cell' therapies for diabetes: You are using someone or something elses insulin producing cells to make insulin.

That means that your immune system isn't going to like it much. What one needs is a system that takes your very own testicular cells and creates beta (insulin secreting) cells. I'm sure that's what they're trying to get at but I detect a potential problem with the practical application of the technology.

'You're going to take some cells from where?

Re:Some clarification... (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530730)

'You're going to take some cells from where?

An undignified operation, which won't hamper one's ability to procreate or needles upon needles upon needles until the day you die. Tell me, truly, which would you choose?

Re:Some clarification... (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530964)

needles......... id much rather deal with needles over going to a doctor every "week" and waiting for the refill

Re:Some clarification... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531212)

And this brings in the whole issue if causing yet another round of sensitizing the immune system to a foreign agent that looks like insulin.

Type one is suspected, in many cases, to be caused by molecules of animal (non-human) milk passing from the gullet into the blood stream in infants. The surface molecule looks a lot like the Isles of Langerhans, so the body mounts an imperfect immune response. In other words, most of the time, no visible immune response, but a sensitization.

Later on (say, during a growth spurt, or puberty, or an infection) the immune system goes on the attack, and attacks the Isles. It's only when a majority of the cells are destroyed that the patient develops diabetes.

This is why even a small quantity of insulin-producing cells work - but they're eventually destroyed, because they resemble the original foreign molecule. So there is no "permanent cure" from transplanting. What would be needed is either prevention (don't feed infants formula based on cow milk, for example - breast milk is way better on every count), or finding some way to re-train the immune system.

So, what we should be doing is looking for a cure for the common cold. When we can retrain the immune system to fix that, we'll be one step closer to curing many diseases.

-- barbie

Re:Some clarification... (2)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 3 years ago | (#34532126)

Then I'd expect this paper to have different results:

          http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/24/5/838.full [diabetesjournals.org]

Non-identical twins raised in the same womb and the same dietary environment would experience the same protein exposures, and as children experience similar infections or environmental factors, and have an elevated risk of sharing Type 1 diabetes if one of them has it. They don't.

From where did you hear this theory or see this claim?

we could fix that (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34532152)

We just need genetically modified cows that produce human milk.

Re:Some clarification... (1)

Guidii (686867) | more than 3 years ago | (#34532224)

True. This research does nothing about the autoimmune issues that caused the type 1 in the first place. And I suspect that it would need the daily doses of immune suppressants that are part of the Edmonton Protocol.

As for me, I think I'd rather stick with my insulin pump than to adopt a regimen to eliminate my immune system. It just doesn't seem like a win.

Dr. Fuhrman Cures Diabetes; Drug Companies Object (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531658)

But only completely for type 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46_GInjBeQU [youtube.com]
See also: http://www.drfuhrman.com/disease/diabetes.aspx [drfuhrman.com]

Type 1 diabetics still need to take insulin, but can take less and have less complications. So, this idea from the article might eventually help them.

From that link: "John ... was a 22 year old college graduate with Type 1 diabetes since the age of 6. He was five foot, eight inches tall and weighed 190 pounds. He was taking a total of 70 units of insulin daily. He was referred to my office by his family physician as he was having swings in his glucose levels, too high at times and at other times dangerously low. He also wanted to learn more about nutrition to improve his health and reduce his future risks from having diabetes. I was impressed by his intelligence and desire to change his eating habits to better his health. We spent lots of time discussing the typical problems that befall most diabetics, and I explained to him that using 70 units of insulin a day was part of the problem. I explained that if he follows my recommended diet-style he will stabilize his weight at about 145 pounds and he will only require about 30 units of insulin a day. With this lower level of insulin, to mimic the amount of insulin a non-diabetic makes in the pancreas, he can have a life without the typical health issues that befall diabetics. We cut his nighttime insulin dose down by ten units and his mealtime insulin from 10 to 6 as he began the diet. Over the next two weeks we gradually tapered his insulin and found that he only needed 20 units of Lantus insulin at bedtime and 4 units before each meal for a total of 32 units a day. Almost immediately, with my dietary recommendations, his sugars were running in the favorable range, and he no longer experienced dangerous drops in his blood sugar. He had lost 13 pounds over the first month and by month three weighed 167, a loss of 23 pounds. He was excited about what he had learned and was more hopeful about his life while living with his diabetes. I am convinced, that with the Eat To Live or Eat For Health diet-style, those with Type 1 diabetes can have a long and disease-free life. I feel it is imperative that all Type 1 diabetics learn about this life, saving approach."

Key there for type 1 diabetics is reducing complications, even if they still take diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes may also be related to vitamin D deficiency in utero and early life.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18846317 [nih.gov]
http://www.google.com/custom?q=diabetes&sitesearch=vitamindcouncil.org [google.com]

If you have type 2 diabetes, you can most likely, within weeks under Dr. Fuhrman's plan, be throwing your insulin away forever (at least, based on what he writes). I know you may find this hard to believe. The key idea there is to lose weight to reduce insulin resistance, and to eliminate refined carbs to reduce insulin needs, and to improve your body's general health with more phytonutrients, and so bring the need for insulin within the remaining capacity of your body. In most cases of type 2 diabetes this should be enough to eliminate the need for any medications. Even if you remained on medications, the risk of complications would go way down and the quality of your life would go way up.

See also Raw For Thirty (though Dr. Fuhrman's approach is more comprehensive and not all raw for some good reasons):
http://www.rawfor30days.com/ [rawfor30days.com]

Some people think they have type 1 diabetes because they have been misdiagnosed and are really type 2 and presumably 100% curable. I guess the opposite may be true, too, sadly. In any case, you never know for sure till you try.

I am following the Eat to Live plan for other reasons (though not perfectly) and my health has improved considerably. I also take about 5000 IU Vitamin D3 daily.
    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/treatment.shtml [vitamindcouncil.org]
Fasting also helped me reset my taste preferences and bring down my weight (but for a diabetic that's a big issue and probably not an option).
    http://www.healthpromoting.com/article/breaking-free-dietary-pleasure-trap [healthpromoting.com]
    http://www.healthpromoting.com/search/node/diabetes [healthpromoting.com]

But Eat to Live is much more approachable for most people than fasting. Change is posssible.

The one thing Dr. Fuhrman warns is that his dietary approach for diabetics is so successful it has to be done under the care of a physician if you are taking medication because it will cut down insulin needs so fast (days) you could become hypoglycemic with a sugar crash coma otherwise. Basically, the plan involves eating a lot *more* food than you are used to eating -- but mostly vegetables and fruits and beans (and a little nuts, seeds, and whole grains, and maybe a few supplements like DHA, vitamin D, and B12). The extra fiber and phytonutrients helps your "appestat" know when to shut down your appetite, so there is no hunger. There may be a hump in there between detoxifying and your tastes adjusting, but eventually in a few weeks you get past withdrawal symptoms from toxins in a SAD diet, and your tastes adjust and you enjoy such food as much as you ever did the deadly Standard American Diet.

I'm not sure of the specific details for a typical diabetic on the Eat To Live plan and if they differ much from the general program. I don't think they do, but you'd have to research that.

Good luck. As Dr. Fuhrman says, the best prescription is knowledge.

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530514)

Diabetic Men May Be Able To Grow Their Own Insulin-Producing Cells

Take that, ladies!

(Because you won't take anything else from me...)

That sound you just heard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530552)

was the sound of ten thousand geeks crossing their legs in unison.

That's nuts! (1)

Pezbian (1641885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531062)

Nevermind the bollocks.

Diabolic Men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34531090)

I misread it as: Diabolic Men May Be Able To Grow Their Own Insulin-Producing Cells

Depends on how they get them out and back in again (1)

JohnRoss1968 (574825) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531530)

Could give a whole new meaning to go fuck yourself

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