Finding a Cure for Diabetes
With the goal of finding a cure, the society has determined three major subject fields in which research will be supported and promoted:
- Diabetes pathogenesis and etiology
...to clarify the exact causes of diabetes and prevent pathogenesis from recurring after remedy.
- Development and function of pancreas and immunology
...to understand the normal healthy condition and stability of health. This is important to restore and keep health as similar to the normal healthy condition as possible without mutations or restrictions.
- Restoration therapy
...to find out the safest and most effective way of recovering health. Promising approaches center on self-healing, stem cells, and immunotherapy. In this context, the society does not favor solutions where health is precipitated artificially or via foreign sources including encapsulated insulin pumps, solid organ transplants, xenotransplants or islet cell transplantation from human cadavers or modifications of this kind, as the RDS does not consider this to be the safest, most effective and most sparing solution.
To approach a quantum leap in finding a sustainable and safe cure for diabetes it is important that resources are restricted to those projects with the highest impact on scientific advance with regards to hitherto unsolved issues. The RDS considers the following as the primary and most critical unsolved issues:
- What exactly misguides lymphocytes to damage pancreatic endocrine cells and how can this mechanism be prevented, i.e. the immune system be normalized?
- Adult stem cells are responsible for repairing damaged and inoperative tissue in healthy bodies. The gold standard would be to induce self-healing by the body after de-inflammation without invasive modification of the patients' pancreatic tissue. For this purpose it is important to clarify whether remaining adult stem cells are still present in pancreatic tissue of humans with long-term IDDM and how, if possible, these cells can be reactivated after de-inflammation.
- If pancreatic cells may not be reactivated, which other adult stem cells may take on this task and how can they be induced to do this? Recently Harvard scientists provided reasonable evidence of self-healing, showing that IDDM mice recover simply by repressing blood cells responsible for beta-cell damage. This result is a strong evidence for the body's self-healing potential.
- How can the immune system be normalized in terms of not re-inflammate pancreatic tissue once cured?