Wednesday, July 7, 2010

denise faustman's making headway~


I just had to post this because while I'm sure it appears that I'm on some "cure diabetes" kick lately [see last post] I promise I'm not. Well, who isn't that has type 1...but that's beside my point.
I just have a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. Faustman. I feel that she is honest, ethical, and not a brown-noser or a business woman. She (at least it seems to many of us in the Type 1 community) is concerned for the science behind autoimmunity; truly wants to understand it's mechanisms. That is why it is so incredible that she is using the time-tested BCG vaccine---we already knew it would pass the Phase 1 portion of the trial. It's amazing though, in this world of Big Pharma always winning, that no one stopped her. And no one did. Oh, they tried. They even tried to do bad science---set up experiments solely for the purpose of proving her own results wrong (when she regenerated beta cells back in 2008). In good science, you work by process of elimination essentially---you don't go about conducting experiments for the sole purpose to "prove" or "disprove". Funny thing is, when the angry scientists against her propositions and results revealed their own, they only found that she was right. Denise Faustman regenerated beta cell function in longterm diabetic mice by using the BCG vaccine. Now she's trying to replicate those results in humans.
The Phase 2 portion of her trial will attempt to do just that.
What so many of us love about her is how unassuming and un-arrogant she is. She blatantly says it might not work. She says it even might only give us a window to prevent hypoglycemia. But as Bernard Farrell said over at his blog a couple of years ago when he had the opportunity to interview Faustman: "Hey, I'd even take never having a low again!" Who wouldn't agree? The point is, she's onto something utilizing the immunological pathways to better understand our disease. This may not be about a cure, but just like pump and CGM therapies have changed the way we approach this disease, so will studying the how's and why's of the immune system's decision-making process to destroy our blessed little beta cells.
I won't be holding my breath, but I just had to post this to say that I'm proud of her. I'm so, so happy for Dr. Faustman because she's never let anyone who put down her work get to her. I really do believe she's in her field of work for the heart of the matter: to better understand what went wrong with our bodies---and how to make it (even a little bit) better quality of life. And yes, deep down we all hope and pray: maybe even a cure.

5 comments:

Bernard said...

I've met with Dr. Faustman many times and I'm impressed with her passion and how determined she is to do everything exactly right so that no-one can question the results.

I keep hoping I can find someone with $25 Million to support the phase 2 work. :-)

birdy said...

gosh, i know, bernard. it's so much money...and yet, so little in that hi-tech research world. i still get angry b/c the JDRF wouldn't fund it...

Anonymous said...

I would like to know what strides
Mary Tyler has made in the fight and a cure. I dont know of any.
Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm waiting too. I'm thinking it would be good if someone with videography skills made a you tube video about dr faustman and her work and what it means and how close she is to curing humans. If it went viral, there might be a lot of smaller donations which could add up. I wonder if there's a fundraising/marketing director over there. Website doesn't seem set up for monthly donation or paypal friendly, or show progress on raising funds or anything like that.
--Lisa C

Anonymous said...

I have been following Dr. Faustman's journey for about 5 years or so and can't understand why more aren't interested, and why there is so little coverage of what she is doing? Bottom line is profitability I'm sure, but still....I have decided not to send funds to JDRF : - )
I did send my little bit to Dr. Faustman.