Our new Type 1 diabetes study puts us in the spotlight

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We have had a very busy week as news of our latest Type 1 diabetes study, sponsored by UBC and the JDRF Canadian Clinical Trials Network, is making the news. In the past 48 hours, our medical director, Dr. Tom Elliott, along with various members of our team and study participants, have appeared on the radio, television, and in print to discuss our recruitment of patients between ages 18 and 35 that have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in the past 100 days.

This pilot clinical trial, referred to as UST1D, is investigating whether a drug called ustekinumab (known as “Stelara” commercially) can protect enough of the body’s own insulin-producing beta cells to delay or eliminate the need for insulin injections. This is a preliminary study, but the implications of the possibility of eliminating the need for insulin injections are astounding.

Here’s a summary of some of our coverage thus far:

From the Vancouver Sun:

“The immune system is generally our friend,” explained Elliott. “It’s killing off invading bacteria, viruses, cancer cells; it’s very, very effective. So to mess with the immune system is a delicate process.

“(In diabetes) there’s something that starts a cascade of immune destruction that we don’t understand. This drug picks off a couple of points in the cascade that look very promising.”

From News 1130:

“We know in the first few months of diagnosis that some of the insulin secreting cells are still functioning and we hope that this drug which is experimental with diabetes will save those cells and potentially revitalize other cells,” [Dr. Elliott] explains.

“We are looking for individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 who have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes within the last three months.”

From cbc.ca: “It’s a chance to get a cure for this, which is unheard of so far,” said Elliott.

And we were featured on April 22, 2015 Global Vancouver Evening News:

More important than getting coverage is recruitment for qualified study participants. For more information on qualifications, please see our study page here.

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