Friday 20 April 2012

Towards a Cure ~ HAWMC, Day 20

Write a news article on a miracle cure. What's the cure? How do you get there?

I have to admit, I don't like this topic. Don't get me wrong, I would be ecstatic with the announcement of a cure for type 1 diabetes, but we're just not there yet. That being said, there is a ton of research going on right now and any one of the current projects could result in something magical. Here are a few highlights...

A few weeks ago I attended JDRF's "Team Captain Power Lunch" for their upcoming Walk to Cure Diabetes on June 10th and Dr. Jeffrey Matthew, the researcher who launched the Canadian Clinical Trial Network, was one of the speakers. He briefly summarized the highlights of the 45 human clinical trials currently being funded by JDRF in Canada alone, and explained that the focus is currently on how type 1 occurs and where in the process researchers could step in with prevention or a cure. The single biggest stepping stone at this point is money; the current cost to take each individual drug from initial research to human clinical trials is approximately  $1 billion! He was extremely optimistic about the 20+ drugs currently being used that DO cure type 1 diabetes in mice, but gave no time frame as to when/if these drugs might be available for human use. He did, however, provide a timeline for the artificial pancreas; the partnership between JDRF and Animas is well underway and they are guaranteeing the artificial pancreas will be available to the public within 2 years!

JDRF is hosting their annual Research Symposium at the Burnaby Firefighters Banquet & Conference Center this Monday, April 23rd at 6:30pm. Presenters include Dr. Richard A. Insel, Chief Scientific Officer, JDRF speaking on an "Update on JDRF's Progress to Cure, Treat, and Prevent Type 1 Diabetes." The other presenter is Chloe Steepe, Founder of Connected in Motion, who will speak about "Breathing Fresh Air Into Diabetes Education."

In other research news there have been numerous posts lately about the recent Medtronic Diabetes Advocates Forum, some of which describe the amazing developments towards a closed loop system for diabetes management. Check out the posts from Sara at Moments of Wonderful, Leighann at D-Mom Blog, Jess at Me and D, Scott at Scott's Diabetes, Amy at Diabetes Mine, for more info this progress (and if I have missed a post about the closed loop system from a guest at the DAF, let me know!) and here's a video (taken and ploaded by Sara Nicastro, MofW) for those who didn't attend the forum.

Research is moving faster than ever before and many exciting projects are currently underway. Could one of them finally lead to cure to a cure for type 1 diabetes? Perhaps. Only time will tell.

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