As the story of Nicole Schulz on page one demonstrates, chemotherapy and radiation are essential parts of the bone marrow transplant (BMT) process, but they carry a high price.
|Visionary work by City of Hope researchers may change the way diabetes is treated.|
In fact, BMT is currently considered too risky for conditions that are not immediately life-threatening, like diabetes.
However, work being pioneered by City of Hope researchers may render pre-transplantation chemotherapy and radiation unnecessary for patients with type 1 diabetes.
By using an antibody to suppress certain cells in a diabetes patient’s immune system, this process would allow patients to receive BMTs without requiring chemotherapy or radiation. Defu Zeng, Ph.D., assistant professor of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism, and hematology and bone marrow transplantation, at City of Hope is leading the work.
“This approach is exciting because it has the potential to cure diabetes,” Dr. Zeng says. “Since our method is much less toxic than traditional approaches, it could allow bone marrow transplantation to be used to treat a variety of autoimmune diseases.”
|Defu Zeng, Ph.D.|
Dr. Zeng’s method is still in early testing stages. Preclinical results were published in the February 13 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
This is just one example of the innovative research and clinical trials that are transforming the way we fight diabetes and other serious diseases. Thank you for your partnership, and for your determination to keep moving forward as we work toward cures!