By Kathleen Blanchard RN for EmaxHealth.com
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Immunobiology Laboratory announce findings from a phase I clinical trial that shows the generic drug BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guerin) transiently reversed type 1 diabetes in humans.
According to Denise Faustman, MD, PhD, director of MGH, “We found that even low doses of BCG could transiently reverse type 1 diabetes in human patients.”
Phase II BCG trial underway for diabetes type 1 vaccine
The success of the phase I trial means the BCG vaccine, currently approved by the U.S. FDA for vaccination against tuberculosis and for the treatment of bladder cancer, is now in Phase II trials, starting earlier this month at MGH; funded by the Iacocca Foundation.
Researchers say BCG vaccine was able to reverse type 1 diabetes by boosting tumor necrosis factor (TNF), which eliminates abnormal white blood cells responsible for type1 diabetes. The effect was seen in mice and in humans.
Treatment with the vaccine allows the pancreas to produce insulin to keep blood sugar levels in check.