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Re: [IP] Found on another diabetic list -- a cure around the corner?



Sorry, all, but although I'm sure the result could be real, it doesn't 
mean a cure is around the corner (not this type of a cure, anyway.)  
NOTE that the article states that "Reasearchers used gene therapy to 
enable the livers of the efected mice to generate insulin."  Ignore the 
typos for the moment - the problem is that this research is based on 
gene therapy, which works fairly well in lab mice with completely 
dysfunctional immune systems, but does not work well in immunologically 
competent mice, much less in immunologically competent humans.  Why?  
Because in a "normal" mouse or human, the immune system recognizes the 
incoming gene therapy item, categorizes it as foreign and/or dangerous, 
and destroys it.  There have been some (less than a dozen, I believe) 
cases where gene therapy has been used successfully to treat humans 
with "bubble boy disease" (largely nonfunctional immune systems), but 
there have been NO successes in people with normal, or relatively 
normal, immune systems.  And - I am willing to bet the farm that gene 
therapy won't work in people (except a few "bubble-boy"-like cases) 
until we learn a LOT more about how the immune system works than we 
currently know.

Maria


Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 12:14:39 -0400
From: "C. Jones" <email @ redacted>
Subject: [IP] Found on another diabetic list -- a cure around the 
corner?

Hopes for diabetics were raised
yesterday after scientists announced
they had cured mice of the disease.
    Reasearchers used gene therapy to
enable the livers of the efected
mice to generate insulin.
    Insulin is the hormone which
limit blood sugar levels and helps
glucose enter cells to fuel them.
    Diabetes occurs when the body
does not produce enough insulin or
it does not respond to the hormone
normally.
    In the tests, a virus was used to
carry a gene in the mouse liver
cells which made them into insulin
generating cells.
    The gene partially corrected the
condition but when a chemical was
introduced to encourage growth in
the cells, the mice were completely
cured for four months.
    Professor lawrence Chan, of the
Baylor College of Medicine in
Huston, Texas, said:"It's a proof of
principle."
- ---------------
DAILY MIRROR (UK). April 21, 2003
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