A commonly used vaccine has received FDA approval for a Phase II clinical trial to test its ability to reverse long-standing type 1 diabetes. The announcement was made at the 75th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) by Associate Professor Denise Faustman from Massachusetts General Hospital.
The vaccine is known as bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), and has been used for over 90 years as a vaccine for tuberculosis, and more recently as a treatment for bladder cancer. A 2012 pilot study in adults with long standing type 1 diabetes showed that two injections of BCG spaced 4 weeks apart temporarily reduced the number of auto-reactive killer T cells and increased the number of beneficial regulatory T cells. The vaccine was able to transiently increase the amount of c-peptide in the blood, indicating some restoration of islet function and insulin secretion. Read More