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hope, hoPE, HOPE

Posted Oct 01 2008 8:55pm

I received my JoinLeeNow news letter today and was so excited to read about how the Faustman trials are going and about the other trials that are being supported by The Iacocca Foundation.

This story got my attention more than others:
Dr. Jerry Nadler – $370,000
University of Virginia, Diabetes and Hormone Center of Excellence Charlottesville, VA
Clinical trial in type 1 diabetes

Lisofylline (LSF) is a novel small molecule immunomodulator that has been shown to be effective in halting autoimmune damage to pancreatic insulin producing beta cells in experimental models of type 1 diabetes. LSF does not impair the normal immune system but reduces the activity of a key cytokine called Interleukin-12 which plays a major role in leading to type 1 diabetes.

Recent evidence suggests that the body is attempting to regenerate insulin producing cells in type 1 diabetes but that the slow growth rate of beta cells and ongoing autoimmunity prevents the body from reversing diabetes. It has been recently shown in a publication that the combination of a beta growth factor called exendin-4 and LSF given by subcutaneous minipump can fully reverse established type 1 diabetes in the nod mouse model. Most animals have remained with normal blood sugar for up to 5 months after the removal of the medications. The exciting results recently presented at the ADA 2006 Scientific Sessions shows evidence of new beta cell regeneration in these treated mice.

LSF has been shown to be safe in human trials when given by the intravenous route but this is not a very practical way of using this medication for the majority of people with type 1 diabetes. The current funds will allow the reformulation and safety testing of LSF for subcutaneous delivery. It is anticipated that a clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of subcutaneous delivered LSF for treatment of type 1 diabetes will be initiated within a year.

LSF alone or in combination with a beta cell growth factor could offer a safe and effective way to help the body regenerate its own insulin producing cells resulting in reversal of type 1 diabetes.

When I read things like this, it just gives me the hope I need to keep moving forward. As a mom, I need that hope. I need that push to look forward to Riley's future with a smile on my face. Because, in that future, I see a cure. I don't think it's really soon in the future, but it's there. And, I want to do whatever I can to make that cure possible.

So, I've been working diligently on my Lee Iacocca walk. I've gotten the walk listed on the JoinLeeNow website. I've gotten a few donations and a few team members. I've sent out letters to local businesses. I hope I hear back from some of them soon.

I was feeling kind of down the first few days after I started planning the walk. I had to look up some diabetes statistics that just didn't sit too well with me. But, now I know that Riley is not going to be a statistic. He's going to be a young man who doesn't have to count carbs or test his sugar.

Some out there don't believe there will ever be a cure. Just remember that it wasn't that long ago that the phrase "I used to have cancer" was not heard very often. But, now, thanks to research it's heard more often than not among those who have been touched by cancer.

So, I'm just going to look forward to when Riley and others like him can say, "I used to have diabetes".

Those will be the sweetest words I've ever heard.

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