I will not repeat standard treatment for diabetes here. Today I want to tell you about a possible new treatment for diabetes: genetic code of skin!
The genetic code may soon change traditional diabetes treatments. The researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool to improve human skin and shape insulin-secreting cells, which helped laboratories cure disease.
A new study published in journal Science Translational Medicine demonstrates health benefits of using stem cells derived from skin of patients with insulin-dependent diabetes, called Wolfram syndrome. CRISPR allows researchers to deliver these cells to patients and correct genetic defect that causes diabetes.
The new approach appears to hold promise for a cure for single-gene-induced diabetes, according to a team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. But they hope to see treatments available for people with more common forms of diabetes, such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Co-Senior Investigator and Associate Professor Jeffrey Millman believes CRISPR is being used for first time to correct a genetic defect caused by diabetes and successfully treat diabetes. This study used cells from patients with Wolfram syndrome because, conceptually, we knew that it would be easier to correct defects caused by a single gene. But it is also a stepping stone to application of gene therapy to a wider range of people with diabetes.
Tungsten Syndrome, in which patients must receive multiple insulin injections daily, has been linked to various health conditions such as impaired vision and balance, and even early death.
Research experts believe a potential treatment for diabetes lies in using human stem cells to form pancreatic beta cells, which transform to produce more insulin when they encounter blood sugar. For study, research team tested new method on mice that developed Wolfram syndrome. Animals that received beta cells were able to produce insulin more efficiently.
Result: Diabetes disappeared quickly within six months of treatment and blood sugar levels remained normal.
The team believes that ability to use these cells to solve this problem by correcting this mutation to create normal beta cells is a proof of concept for correcting genetic defect that causes or contributes to diabetes. In this case, in Wolfram Syndrome gene, we can make beta cells more effective in controlling blood sugar levels.
Researchers hope to improve potential treatments for diabetes through gene editing to help create "personalized regenerative gene therapy." In addition to human skin, team plans to use patients' urine samples to create stem cells to treat disease.
I think this news is good news for most people with diabetes! I hope that this treatment plan can be applied in clinical work as soon as possible for benefit of humanity!