Each day, my scientific team runs through dozens of scientific studies on Type 1 diabetes. It’s important to deduce what hasn’t panned out and why. We recently reviewed a Bench-to-Clinic Symposium on many of the immunotherapy trials used in man for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes; the goal of such an examination is to figure out the steps needed to take a new treatment from the experimental stage to everyday use. The publication we reviewed listed 18 different studies, all of which reversed diabetes in mice, but failed to do so in man. We have carefully looked at each study listed, and many more, to evaluate what we can learn.

This is not just an academic exercise to us. As we hear from so many patients who live with Type 1 diabetes and are working so hard to maintain their glucose levels, we know the gravity of our mission. I just saw one of my long-term patients who experienced a hypoglycemic seizure; she broke her ankle while her blood sugar levels were low. Another of my patients is now in Intensive Care when he developed a kink in his pump insertion cannula, which prevented insulin delivery. I hear from the parents of young children with Type 1 diabetes, who haven’t slept through the night in years for fear of their children going low. I have promised a young patient I will make him insulin independent before he is an adult, and the only way to do that is to learn from what hasn’t worked.

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