I think this transplant still requires immunosuppressants, so it’s a nonstarter for most of us, but still exciting. Hoping to hear more in the coming years.
I think we were both posting this at the same time, but I found the link to the clinical trial on ClinicalTrials.gov:
Much more info on the specifics there.
I have a friend who works in the biotech field and he says Vertex’s other product, encapsulated islet cells, is very promising. They’re apparently building a ‘nano cage’ around the cells, so that the body doesn’t recognize the cell anymore and hence doesn’t destroy it. Looks like they’re planning on starting human trials in 2022. It’s mentioned toward the end of the article here:
This all sounds very promising. For those with connections, please keep us informed.
Maybe this is a good candidate for the nano-cages.
I laud the developments of Vertex and similar efforts toward other diseases. But I’m also concerned at the likes of the article @ClaudnDaye sites. I find it scary when a phrase like “entirely new life-form” is used referring to human creations. It may be hyperbole in this case, perhaps not. I realize parts of science operate on the “bleeding” edge, but while this seems relatively innocuous, the next step may not be…and we don’t know if it that next step has been taken by some lab somewhere. Science, without limits, puts us at risk of killing off our own and perhaps all species. I’m not sure what world-wide governing body or consortium should or could set limits, but a discussion of what “moral” or other limitations are needed needs to occur soon.
4 posts were split to a new topic: Mistaken Discussion about the Covid Pill Approval - Moved to Lounge
My apologies to the group and particularly to @irrational_John, the link I intended to share was NOT to a Covid pill article and any words in the actual articleI referenced weren’t intended. @Chris, thanks for bringing it to my attention and taking corrective action. The link I intended to cut and paste was to an NPR article by Scott Neuman about “living robot” cells, made in a lab, without the ability to replicate that “learned” to turn t-cells into themselves, hence self-replicate. It was not part of the intended study or outcome. The researchers were supposedly shocked by the ability demonstrated as it wasn’t intended. Sorry for the confusion and if possible, the previous post can be deleted or modified as needed/appropriate.
@TomH , I think this is the article you were intending to have a discussion about:
I moved the mistaken discussion to our Lounge area.
@Chris Yes, that’s the one. Thanks again and sorry for my error in posting.
Don’t sweat it, we mods exist to serve. Kind of like the Borg, but without the fancy cube and intergalactic domination.
I was really hoping to see the cube! VERY disappointed! Do you by any chance have one of the spinning hands?!
I’m curious about this statement. Why could most of us not take immunosuppressants? Just asking as I also have rheumatoid arthritis and part of my treatment includes immunosuppressants.
@Jan , so I’m not totally sure but my impression is the type of immunosuppressants typically prescribed for things like Rheumatoid Arthritis are a little more selective. Most of them wipe out a certain part of the immune system (say, wiping out the signalling of only a very specific type of T-cell or one signalling factor, like TNF-alpha) but not a big part. In the worst case, they may prescribe something like rituximab, which is more broad-based, but I would expect they cycle through other options first. So in theory, the treatment for RA may mean you might be more prone to specific infections but not all of them. And they usually start you on an immunosuppressant that is less likely to cause side effects.
However, when you get an organ transplant, you have to get stronger immunosuppressants at first, and for several months after. It’s basically like wiping a whole file folder in the immune system versus just deleting some files. And in addition to having more risk of infection beyond these selective immunosuppressants, they seem to have a lot of side effects, like reduced kidney function and high blood pressure and cholesterol, that seem like they would be bad to mix with diabetes. And with pancreatic islet transplants, at least, these typically fail within five years, so it’s not clear the cost/benefit here would pencil out for the typical Type 1 Diabetic, who maybe has a 30-year elevated risk of heart disease/kidney disease and the like, but is not likely to need any additional care for years.
Thanks for the helpful explanation. I like your analogy of files and file folders!
I also think the risk of long term broad-band immunosuppressant therapy is a higher rate of sepsis when you do get a bad infection. I had a friend whose father was amazingly heart transplant +15 years, and he ended up in the hospital with sepsis that required a 4 month hospitalization despite having relatively healthy heart function.