A collection of cures

It’s been a busy week in the “lets tease those pancreatically-challenged types by talking about cures again” department.

First it appears that the place to be for a magic cure is Bristol, where they’re excited that soon they’ll be able to offer islet cell transplants to some pancreatically-challenged types. There’s a convenient lack of any mention of immunosuppressant drugs or anything that might possibly make this sound less than a miracle cure, but perhaps this dog’s just an old cynic. While this dog is being so cynical, it’d be very interested to know if everyone in the Bristol area who needs a pump and/or CGM is able to get one and that’s why they’ve decided funding more experimental treatment for a small number of the population is the best way to go. They must be following the Scottish way of thinking in these matters.

Jumping on the cure band wagon, but cleverly putting a real world spin on it, everyone’s second favourite diabetes charity, Diabetes UK, has launched its latest fundraising campaign – they’re raising money for “The next best thing to a cure”, looking at research around artificial pancreases and such malarkey.

So, what this dog wants to know is, are you getting in line for the islet cell transplant, fighting your way to the front of the queue for an artificial pancreas, or just getting on with life as normal?

16 thoughts on “A collection of cures

  1. Alison

    I’m not really a cure kind of girl. If I was dying I’d take risks to save my life, as I’m living a pretty happy little life, I’m after pretty safe treatments to keep me going. If I had to put my money on either, I’m much happier with the mechanical rather than biological approach. Nice little incremental steps towards better treatment through technology concerns me less than injecting new cells and suppressing my generally quite useful to have immune system.

  2. Tim

    I have an automatic filter so that when I see the word “cure” in the same article as the word “diabetes” I instantly flag it under “bulldust” (that famed swearword of 1980’s Neighbours).

    Paradoxically, this article is the exception to the rule.

  3. Rohan

    I would love to try something like islet replacement, if there’s a reduction in the amount of injections and thought power involved. Not badly enough to want to screw up my control in time for my next review, seeing as I’m in Bristol now…

    I’m with @Tim as far as articles about ‘cures’ and diabetes are concerned, I file it all under ‘Daily Mail’ – which is kitten blocked on my computer 😛

    Basically, I’m all for trying new things to make my life easier, but they do need to do exactly that – make my life easier! I might handle immunosuppressants if I don;t have to think about varying doses and the like, but the thought that it could all go pear shaped again any way would be a worry. I think if I escaped having to think every time I eat something, going back to it would possibly be a bigger psychological blow.

  4. Annette A

    I’m with @alison – for me, mechanical rather than biological treatments. ‘Perfect’ CGM and good (but, if I’m really honest, not totally closed) loop systems (I just feel I’d never really trust something 100% to work) would be my ultimate wish.
    For me, ‘cure’ reads ‘how many holes can I pick in this one…’

  5. katherine cromwell

    If I’m first in line for a cure would I still be allowed to comment on this site? what would I do with all my spare time? not counting carbs(yes I know I could count calories instead) not doing blood tests, I would have no excuse for submitting to those wonderful Twirl or Wispa bars when I drop to a low. No I’m sticking with my pump. I would miss its little beeping noises!

  6. Tim

    @mustard – yeah, we’d all have to find something else to talk about if we were all cured. And I’d have to close down the blog. Sad days indeed.

  7. Dave

    And think of the hundreds employed by the BDA and JDRF and in the medical profession. it’s not good for the economy to have us cured. Ban the pump and CGM development. NOW!

  8. Tim

    Ha ha ha! I can see it now post-cure there will be endocrine specialists in rags begging for a few coppers on the streets, the Medtronic building will lie in weed strewn ruins*, DSNs being forceably retrained to deal with other conditions. Nightmare.

    * yes, I know Medtronic make pacemakers mainly and diabetes is a relatively minor diversion for them.

  9. Alison

    Good point. If I worked in medicine, I wouldn’t want to specialise too much and risk a cure terminating my career, it seems general practice is the way to go for job security. Someone clever who’s name I can’t remember once said that life is a sexually transmitted disease that is inevitably fatal. I think there’ll always be plenty of money to be made in trying to prolong the inevitability of the fatalness, medics will just have to diversify!

  10. Lesley from INPUT.me.uk

    Saw your headline and thought “can’t help – haven’t got any cures to spare”.

    I’m with @Annette A – mechanical rather than biological. At least until they can do away with the need for immunosuppressants. However, a respite-transplant – well, I would definitely consider that…

  11. Spike Jones

    I would simply ask the same question I always ask when I hear “diabetes” & “cure” in the same sentence: What is it worth in pounds & pence? Each of us pancreatically challenged types make various pharmaceutical & medical tech companies thousands each year. Do you really think they would give up that income. There is no money in curing a problem/condition. There is shed loads in treating it indefinitely. Cynic? Moi?

    1. Lesley from INPUT.me.uk


      They will still profit from the majority of PWDs who have type 2.

  12. Spike Jones

    I have had the diabolics for 30 plus years & counting. The cure has always been 5 or 10 years off. I’m still waiting…..

  13. katherine cromwell

    @Spikej Funny I was told 5-10 years for a transplant ….. here I am still waiting!

  14. lizz

    This isn’t a cure, it doesn’t or hasn’t lasted for more than a few years or so I don’t think.

    I am in Bristol and have been offered the option of going up to Oxford to talk about having it. If I was to want that, I certainly would NOT want it done in Bristol with a team who haven’t done it before.

    You have to take anti-rejection drugs for as long as you have the cells inside you. Anti-rejection drugs are poisonous. I would not want them until I have other life threatening problems – i don’t see this as a good option unless you HAVE to have a kidney transplant and have to take the drugs anyway.

    I did read about another treatment some time ago where the islets were inside some sort of barrier which meant you didn’t need anti-rejection drugs, I would go for that, maybe.

  15. Clare

    I am in Bristol and would like a pump but my control is too good to get one. I would happily go for the islet transplants but I think I wouldn’t be a good candidate as I already take immunosupressant drugs for Crohn’s disease. Incidentally, is there anyone else out there with Type 1 and Crohn’s?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *