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[IP] NOT encouraging research news :-(

The following post appeared at the Islet Foundation message board from the
mother of a 9 yr old son with diabetes......Not the kind of news any of us
wants to read, but serves to corroborate what we all know intrinsically about
government agency spending, sorry to say.............Renee

Our family attended a seminar in Nashville at Vanderbilt on Saturday (World
Diabetes Day). The keynote speaker was Dr. Richard C. Eastman, Director,
Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases, NIH/NIDDK. The
topic of discussion was "Exciting Directions in Diabetes Research." The only
thing we found even remotely "exciting" was the fact that clinical trials of
beta cell transplantation will begin in 1999 on a small number of humans. When
I asked him if this would be with immunosuppression, he answered that yes, for
a short period of time the person would receive an antioxidant chemical,
AntiCD-40. They believe that this may "trick" the immune system from future

Most of his talk was about how the NIH/NIDDK spends the millions each year.
For fiscal year '99, they will receive upwards of $468 million. Approximately,
only 17% of that money will be for Type I Diabetes. When further broken down,
37% of THAT original 17% is spent on Pathogens/Autoimmunity/Genetics relating
to Type I, 17% if for Prevention, 28% for Therapy, 15% for Epidemiology, and
3% Other--which I assume the beta cell transplantation falls under. I guess
you all probably already knew this and are already as outraged as I am! What
can we do? When someone in the audience asked that question, his answer was
basically that the general population didn't have a say in the matter! The
only time Xenotransplantation was briefly mentioned was when a scientist asked
what was the source of the islets for transplantation in the '99 study. He
replied that they would be human cadaver islets. The scientist finally got the
answer that very little research is being done on animal islets by the

For some stupid reason, I had believed that a cure for this disease would be
while my child was still a child. After attending this seminar, I guess I have
been shocked into the reality that this will not be the case. I may not even
be around to see him cured! I ask again, "What can we do?"

After this main part of the seminar was over, we were divided into smaller
groups (depending on which topic we wanted to hear). At one of them the
scientists were tellling us about glucose monitoring without a fingerstick
(through the web of your hand). The machine they are trying this with is HUGE.
We were told that they would not be downsized for the American public and
perfected for probably another 10-15 years. My Gosh! And I was expecting a
cure before then!

When so much money is available, why can they not "go out on a limb" as Dr.
Eastman said and spend some of it on cure techniques. They don't know where
the cure will come from, but they could TRY a few things and see where it

Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/