We R the Cure

Seeking Cures and Cheating Destiny

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Ending the A1C Blame Game: Reposting a “Must Read” From MD on Insulin Nation

Research Corner: Ending the A1C Blame Game (via http://www.insulinnation.com)

When glucose sensors first became available in clinical trials some 2 decades ago, I decided to wear a sensor to compare my glucose levels as a non-diabetic individual with glucose levels of my patients. I was excited to have this new tool, which measured…

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Clinical Studies Are Recruiting for Participants; We R the Cure — Is It Your Time?

A clinical study involves research using human volunteers (also called participants) that is intended to add to medical knowledge.

Before leaving UVa and giving back the AP, I pose with a few of the team members who watched over me and conducted the outpatient trial. L to R: my nurse, Crystal Leathers, computer engineer Benton MIze, and Stacey Anderson, MD.

Before leaving UVa and giving back the AP, I pose with a few of the team members who watched over me and conducted the outpatient trial. L to R: my nurse, Crystal Leathers, computer engineer Benton Mize, and Stacey Anderson, MD.

There are two main types of clinical studies: clinical trials and observational studies. ClinicalTrials.gov includes both interventional and observational studies.

Searching for a Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Trial? Check out the current list of trials in the United States.  Searching for a Type 2 diabetes clinical trial?  Click this link.


Researchers Agree: The Status Quo Is Not Acceptable; We Need More Clinical Trial Participants To Drive Progress

Imagine my surprise and excitement when a leading Type 1 diabetes researcher, Dr. Desmond Schatz of the University of Florida, unofficially promoted our “We R The Cure” blog site during the JDRF Type 1 Diabetes Research Summit on Feb. 18, 2012. Let’s roll the audio tape:

We R the cure JDRF walk team

We R the Cure — and so are you. Sign up for a clinical trial today.

“We do not have enough people participating in research studies,” Dr. Schatz told several hundred Type 1D enthusiasts in his opening statements. “My goal is to give you hope, to inspire hope, and to push you to get involved. Without U, there can be no cure.” Almost on cue, an outburst of applause came from the adjacent ballroom where young children with Type 1 diabetes were playing and having fun while their parents attended the JDRF Summit. Dr. Schatz heard the applause and laughed. “I am here to make it clear, that the status quo (in Type 1 research) is unacceptable!” And again, the children cheered right on cue.

This blog is dedicated to the patients, doctors, nurses, researchers and big thinkers who are actively pushing research forward – in our search for solutions & cures for persons living with auto immune disorders such as type 1 diabetes and certain forms of cancer that are tied indirectly to weakened immune systems or a virus attack. If you’re ready to learn more or join a clinical trial, check back here often for news and information. Or simply click on Clinical Trials to get started.

My name is Mike Anderson, and I am the creator and editor of We R The Cure. I received my Type 1D diagnosis — from out of nowhere — in May 1998. Together with my friends and family, I am a passionate advocate for raising awareness and raising dollars for research and real solutions that will improve the quality of life for children, teens and adults living with this chronic disease. And one day — A cure or many cures.

A clinical study involves research using human volunteers (also called participants) that is intended to add to medical knowledge.  There are two main types of clinical studies: clinical trials and observational studies.    ClinicalTrials.gov includes both interventional and observational studies. So, what R U waiting for … Think about joining a clinical trial in 2014. It’s a new year’s resolution that is worth keeping. Thanks for your participation. werthecure.com

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UVA Artificial Pancreas Team Receives $3.4 Million Grant; Technology Aims To Transform The Lives Of Type 1 Diabetics

A high-tech project at the Center for Diabetes Technology at UVa to turn an ordinary smart phone into an artificial pancreas that could transform the lives of people with type 1 diabetes has received a $3.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The Center For Diabetes Technology Team at UVA

The Center for Diabetes Technology Team at UVA is part of a worldwide Artificial Pancreas Consortium working to bring a safe and high-tech Closed Loop System to Americans with Type 1 diabetes in the next few years!

The money will fund a new network approach to artificial pancreas design using distributed computing between local and Cloud systems that will allow real-time adjustment of insulin delivery based on the individual’s needs. The grant will also fund three clinical trials at the University of Virginia and at Stanford University that will advance the project toward its final goal of offering people with type 1 diabetes – in which the body does not produce enough insulin – an automated way to monitor and regulate their blood sugar.

“This project approaches the artificial pancreas not as a single device but as a network of local and global services working seamlessly together towards the optimal control of diabetes,” said Boris Kovatchev, PhD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the Center for Diabetes Technology.

The artificial pancreas was developed at the School of Medicine by a team of researchers led by Kovatchev, the director of the UVA Center for Diabetes Technology, and Patrick Keith-Hynes, PhD. The device consists of a reconfigured smart phone running advanced algorithms, linked wirelessly with a blood glucose monitor and an insulin pump, and communicating with Internet services in real time.

The system’s developers intend for it to monitor and regulate blood-sugar levels automatically, report to a remote-monitoring site and link the user with assistance via telemedicine as needed. This would save users from having to stick their fingers to check their glucose levels multiple times a day and eliminate the need for countless syringes to inject insulin manually. The physicians on the team – Bruce Buckingham, MD, of Stanford, and UVA’s Stacey Anderson, MD, and Sue Brown, MD – have tested the artificial pancreas system in successful outpatient trials in Virginia, California and in Europe.

University of Virginia Press Release

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Clinical Trial News You Can Use: Psoriasis Drug Shows Promise, Tested As Type 1 Diabetes Treatment

The NursingTimes reports this on Oct. 3: “Skin drug shows ‘promising’ results on type 1 diabetes,” reports BBC News.

This story is based on a small trial of alefacept in people with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes. The immune system of people with type 1 diabetes attacks the insulin producing cells in their pancreas. Most people with type 1 diabetes have to regularly inject themselves with insulin.

Alefacept is approved for use to treat the skin condition psoriasis in the US. Researchers hoped it might help people with type 1 diabetes, because both conditions are autoimmune conditions (where the symptoms develop due to the body’s immune system ‘malfunctioning’ and attacking its own healthy tissue). Alefacept suppresses one type of immune system cell associated with the autoimmune response, and the researchers hoped that it could also stop these cells from further attacking the insulin-producing cells.

Although the drug did not improve how much insulin was produced in the two hours after a meal, people taking the drug needed lower doses of insulin than those taking placebo and experienced fewer hypoglycaemia events – where blood glucose levels drop to an abnormally low level. These results should be seen as very preliminary, with larger and longer term trials now needed to determine whether alefacept does offer any benefit for people with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes.

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Show Me The Money: Diabetes Research Funds Continue To Fall Well Short Of A Cure

Ever since I started my blog, I wanted to “republish” this small section of James Hirsch’s fair and honest book, “Cheating Destiny: Living with Diabetes.”

Hirsch writes about the many researchers, scientists, doctors and advocates who are still working on “conquering” but maybe not “curing” diabetes. Of course, money is one issue. Ronald Kahn of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston has tried to calculate the government’s neglect of diabetes research funding. More than 20 million Americans have diabetes, Type 1 and 2, which translates to about 7 to 8 percent of the total U.S. population.

Dr. Denise Faustman

Dr. Denise Faustman, a veteran diabetes researcher, made Wall Street Journal Headlines in 2006 in a story titled: “Confirming Hope on Diabetes: A Controversial Therapy for Diabetes Is Verified.” Her story is included in Hirsch’s book.

Consider these stats about our country’s lack of public support for a growing diabetic epidemic.

  • Public spending on diabetes is about $50 per diabetic, based on 2007 financial data.
  • The average cost of care per diabetic — what you spend on medicine, equipment, etc — is between $10,000 and $20,000.
  • 32 percent of the nation’s Medicare budget is spent on people with diabetes.
  • Since 1980, the NIH budget for diabetes has increased by 240 percent to $1.1 billion.
  • NIH total expenditures have grown by 261 percent, thus the percentage allocated for diabetes has declined as the number of diabetics has doubled.
  • In 2004, the NIH spent about $68 for each diabetic compared to $16,936 for each patient with West Nile virus.

“Our investment in the future, the future of all these people, amounts to less than half of one percent of what we’re spending on the disease,” Kahn told Hirsch, adding that even the tire industry spends at least 3 percent of its sales on research. “It’s simply not enough. I can’t say that if we invested ten times as much we’d move ten times faster, but we would move faster.”

So why would the West Nile Virus receive more funds than Diabetes, you may ask? Hirsch contends that the perception of insulin as a kind of cure — or at least a potent remedy — has made other diseases seem to be a larger threat. Infectious diseases, in general, receive priority for government funding. That makes sense to me because government’s job is to protect us against epidemics, but it does not address the obvious lack of public funding for Type 1 diabetes, an auto immune disease that also strikes suddenly,  without warning and is largely unpreventable. I could not “guard” against the Type 1 diabetes bug bite, although researchers believe that genetic and environmental factors do contribute to a person’s chances.

In today’s recessionary economic climate, I understand that taxpayers can not support every worthwhile disorder or disease. A few years ago, well about 40 years to be exact, President Richard Nixon declared a “war” on cancer and urged Americans to spend money to defeat it. Although some cancers are beatable today, I don’t think anyone would say we’ve won that war? And 40 years ago a group of angry and fired up parents formed JDRF, to raise money for better research and finding a cure for their children suffering with Type 1 diabetes.

Today, hoping for a cure is still a good thing. May is my anniversary month — I’m living 14 years with this uninvited house guest. I still believe things will get better in the near future for me and the 3 million Americans living with Type 1. However, hoping for a cure may also be unhealthy for the person living with diabetes.

As Hirsch, also a Type 1 diabetic and father of a child with the disease, correctly concludes: “If I believed (a cure) was ‘around the corner’ or five years away or even possible, it would have been easy to lapse into bad habits. Why go through the daily demands, frustrations and indignities of tight glucose management when a medical miracle would soon deliver me from my burdens? Diabetes is too taxing, too unforgiving, to hold out hope. It’s the ultimate paradox of the disease: if you have it, you have to live your life as if you’ll never be cured.”