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RE: [IP] Cure for diabetes

SHEILA MORRIS [mailto:email @ redacted] wrote:

> A cure for diabetes means that people will still be diagnosed 
> with diabetes
> and then "cured".
 < snip > 
> A vaccination on the other had would prevent people from ever 
> developing
> diabetes thus -NO Diagnosis.

Of course, these are two very different things require totally different
approaches to this disease. What is currently under investigation (islet
cell transplantation) is promising *FOR TYPE 1 DIABETICS*.  It will have
absolutely *NO* impact on type 2 diabetics who still have insulin

To further complicate the issue, the regulatory problems associated with
type 1 diabetes is not simply the lack of insulin production, but the body's
coordination with other hormones, etc.  

Production of a vaccine means that one has to have a known agent which
*causes* the disease in the first place.  There are many theories, and
several viruses that have been *associated* with the incidence of DM, but
none has been demonstrated as a *causative* agent. There's a saying in
statistical and epidemiological circles that applies here: correlation is
NOT causation. And just vaccinating against one agent is likely to have no
effect on other agents. An example of a vaccine that was developed to handle
these problems is the Pneumovax (AKA PPV for Polyvalent Pneumoccocal
Vaccine) which contains either killed or attenuated antigens for 21 or 22
different kinds of pneumonia (a vaccination which all diabetics should have,

IOW, diabetes is a collection of diseases, not just one disease, with a
couple of symptoms in common: all type 1 diabetics produce no insulin, and
all type 2 diabetics have a problem with insulin use.  Other than that,
we're dealing with many different factors, and the presence of one type does
not mean the other type is not present in the same individual (although it
appears to be rare).

Finally, as has been pointed out by several other people, the research that
underlies all of these possibilities is generally not conducted by either
pharmaceutical companies nor insurance companies. Research is generally
academic, and funded as such. In the long run, both of these industries are
forced to follow the trends that come out of academic research rather than
direct them.

Jim Handsfield
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
mailto:email @ redacted OR
mailto:email @ redacted

The opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Public
Health Service or any other agency of the United States government.
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