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[IP] Re: Cure in 5 years?

While fetal stem cell research may be slowed because of the results of the
recent election (and the concurrent moral unacceptability), all is not lost.
Dr. Aaron Vinik and his team at the Strelitz Diabetes Institute at the
Eastern Virginia Medical Center are currently working on INGAP (Islet
Neogenesis Associated Protein), a pancreatic protein that has been isolated
and found to stimulate islet cell  neogenesis.  Studies on mice and hamsters
have been 100% effective to date, and large animal studies (dogs) will be
undertaken in '01.  My understanding of the research is that INGAP can be
produced much like the human insulin (i.e., using bacterial cultures), and
massive amounts have been injected into the mice with no toxicity.  This
protein goes right to the pancreas, where new islet cells are formed.
Unlike islet cell transplants, the newly-formed islets are fully
functioning, i.e., not only is insulin produced, but so is glycogen, so that
the appropriate glucose-insulin balance is maintained.  Far more exciting
than the islet cell transplants (which is really just another treatment),
this research holds hope for a true "cure", with none of the very real and
potentially devastating effects of anti-rejection drugs.  I, too, have heard
about "a cure in the next 5 years" for more than 32 years, but there is much
research going on right now, and we could be much closer than any of us have
dared to hope.  In the meantime, we need to use all the resources and
technology available to us to stay healthy and make the public and
legislators aware of us (the limited resources need to be screamed for and
demanded!!!) and for them to be painfully aware that we're not going away
anytime soon.

To review the abstracts on this exciting research (warning:  it's rather
"techy"), go to:  www.evms.edu/diabetes/ingap_abstract.html

More information is also available in the archives at
www.diabetesstation.org (Dr. Vinik was a featured guest on one of their
forums mid-November, I believe.  Makes for interesting reading.

As an aside, a bit "thanks-a-million" to all of my "family" here who
responded to my plea earlier this month.  I'm doing much better now, and
will be following up with my endo when I see him after the first of the

Kathy Fagan
T1, dx 10/68, pumping since 12/83 and loving it
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