Will Diabetes Ever Be Cured?

Will Diabetes Ever Be Cured? 

The answer to the question: Will diabetes ever be cured is a resounding “yes.” Researchers are now turning their attention to Gene therapy, Islet cell transplantation, and Beta cell replacement. And they’re pursuing genetic testing, too. However, will any of these treatments or other therapies actually work? Until we have more information, we’ll have to wait and see. But it’s still early days. 

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Gene therapy 

Since the discovery of cloning insulin and expression in cultured cells, gene therapy for diabetes has been hyped as a potential cure. Recent advances in clinical management of diabetes have significantly raised the bar for gene therapy for diabetes, but current treatment modalities still fall short of cures, although they have greatly improved glycemic control. Regardless of the future of diabetes gene therapy, researchers are optimistic that the technology will eventually lead to new treatments for this condition. 

The goal of T1D gene therapy is to engineer artificial b-cells that replicate the mechanism of insulin secretion. Insulin is translated in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and transports across the Golgi apparatus to mature insulin secretory granules, called ISGs. ISGs are then induced to secrete insulin in response to glucose stimulation. However, the mechanism used by these cells is not completely understood. 

Islet cell transplantation 

Islet cell transplantation for diabetes temporarily reverses the disease, but it requires lifelong immunosuppressive medication. Patients must undergo immunosuppressive drugs after the procedure, which have their own risks. Only UCSF has the equipment to perform this surgery. The pros and cons of this procedure are discussed below. However, you should know that you should be aware of the risks and possible side effects. Before undergoing islet transplantation for diabetes, make sure you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. 

A transplanted pancreas would be placed on a national organ transplant registry and the patient’s insurance would generally cover the surgery. Islet cell transplantation for diabetes would require institutions to file an investigational new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which interprets the federal regulations. In the application, the doctors must prove that they have followed the minimum standards of handling human cells, tissues, and cellular products. 

Beta cell replacement 

Currently, beta cell replacement therapy is only available in patients with type 1 diabetes. But advances in stem cell technology may allow this therapy to be offered to a larger number of patients. The current limitations of beta cell replacement therapy include organ supply and the risks associated with immunosuppression. Better outcomes for patients would greatly reduce the costs associated with conventional therapy, including diabetic complications. These treatments are not covered by the federal or provincial health budgets, so the cost would be borne by the patient, their family, and their private insurance. 

Stem cell-derived beta cells provide a valuable opportunity for researchers to study the failure mechanisms of beta cells in the human body. These cells contain all the genes associated with diabetes, allowing them to study the effect of genotype on beta cell function. However, the risks of stem cell-derived beta cells cannot compare to those of standard diabetes treatment. Stem cell-derived beta cells can be used for research and to develop a new therapy for people with type 1 diabetes. 

Genetic testing 

Although cost-effectiveness of routine genetic testing for diabetes is still controversial, studies suggest that it can reduce the costs of treating patients with monogenic diabetes. While studies on this issue are limited, CEAs provide a sound rationale for expanding the use of this test. Furthermore, genetic testing for diabetes is an effective way to make an accurate diagnosis, which may ultimately improve treatment and clinical outcomes. These CEAs may also guide insurers to consider more comprehensive coverage of these tests. 

Certain genes and antibodies are associated with increased risk of type 1 diabetes. In order to identify those genes, people can be screened for them through the TrialNet Pathway to Prevention Study. This study is free and is aimed at detecting those at risk before the disease manifests itself. Genetic testing for diabetes is an excellent way to prevent the disease by identifying genetic risk factors early. The results of the test will help your physician tailor your treatment plan based on your own genetic makeup.