BCG vaccine could reverse type 1 diabetes, passes Phase I trial

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

BCG, a vaccine that could reverse type 1 diabetes, has passed a Phase 1 clinical trial. Finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes has been the focus of recent research. The disease has no cure. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin. The first clinical trial shows that BCG vaccine may reverse type 1 diabetes.

Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination has been shown in a Phase I clinical trial to be safe and effective. Scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Iacocca Foundation have teamed up and are now planning a Phase II trial. Type 1 diabetes treatment currently involves controlling symptoms of the disease.

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"We are making great progress and are really excited to be able to move this potential treatment to the next stage of clinical testing," says Denise Faustman, MD, PhD, director of the Immunobiology Laboratory at the MGH and an associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Type 1 diabetes eventually causes complete insulin deficiency. BCG vaccine could potentially prevent loss of insulin, reversing the destruction of beta cells in the pancreas.

Type 1 diabetes primarily affects young people, under age 20, but can occur at any age. BCG vaccine might also prevent type 1 diabetes for those at high risk.

Lee A. Iacocca, chairman of the Iacocca Foundation says he made a promise to see an end to type 1 diabetes in his lifetime - he adds, "And I intend to keep it. The public support of this trial and a trial for people with this disease is my dream." Type 1 diabetes claimed the life of Lee Iacocca's wife Mary K. Iacocca, who died from complications. The Iacocca Foundation was established in 1984 and has funded research to find a cure that exceeds 23 million.

BCG vaccine temporarily raises levels of TNF (tumor necrosis factor) in humans and in mice. Doing so with BCG vaccine eliminates abnormal white cells in individuals with type 1 diabetes, leading to reversal of the disease. You can read more about the trial here.



Please cure the disease. I want these small kids to lead a happy, normal and long life. A life which is free from 3-4 times injections and pricks sometimes 12-13 times.. They are able to sleep without fear of their sugar levels getting low. Please speed up research and cure this disease.
The bcg vaccine sounds like the cure I have been dreaming of, so hope phase two is a success and bcg vaccine is the cure all diabetics have been waitng for. So once again best of luck for phase two.
i was detected type 1 diabetes 3 years back is this treatment for us also do reply.and i please please you scientists for god sake please get me out of this bulksit diabetes it is so painful to prick insulin 3 to five times a day do increase your speed of your research and get of out of this sugar levels and diabetes.
This all sounds like bunkum to me. If BCG is a cure for Type 1 diabetes then why not give diabetics the BCG injection? Why does $25 million dollars need to be raised? I've had type 1 diabetes for 25 years and nearly every month, there has been a story about a 'cure'. It never happens though, although, I hear, many mice have been cured!
sorry for your condition! my son just got diagnozed with it. however, you offer no hope for a solution! have u received the BCG vaccination?
Pl.let me know whteher BCG vaccine can be taken for second time,as I was vaccinated 37 years back?
Pl. let me know whether BCG Can be taken for second time as I was vaccinated 37 years back
Hi NAHOM, That is something to discuss with your physician, as we are not health care providers, but reporters of news.
CURE FOR TYPE 1 IS ON THE WAY. Please do forgive my enthusiasm, but without hope, we do not have nothing. I am daily checking news, making calls even directly to labs, bugging administrators at labs. I do invite you all to do so, more people we do have to do it, sooner will happen. I am sure in that. Thanks
Wow, I've read two articles about this and some of the comments are insanely over the top. Diabetes isn't that bad a disease guys - it shouldn't stop you from doing anything. I've has it for 8 years and have done some amazing things I my life. Just last month I climbed to the top of an active volcano. I have hiked for 4 days, carrying everything I needed on my back, been rock climbing, snorkeling, high rope-sing among many other things. I'm pleased there might be a cure on the way because the injections kind of suck, but really? Also another article said that the vaccine 'temporarily reversed type one diabetes' so I'm unsure whether this is actually a cure or just another way to keep control? Fingers crossed though, and pleased that someone is looking into type one!