BCG vaccine and type 1 diabetes – promising early data

bcg vaccine diabetes

An ongoing clinical trial using the bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine, or BCG vaccine, to reverse even advanced type 1 diabetes mellitus has shown promising preliminary data in over 100 patients. Type 1 diabetes is considered irreversible, so if Phase II and III clinical trials shows that the vaccine is safe and effective in reversing diabetes, it would be one of the most important advances in medicine.

In addition, researchers proposed a possible mechanism describing how the BCG vaccine may enhance the immune system, and how it may stop and reverse the damage that leads to diabetes.

Let’s take a look at what we know about diabetes, how the BCG vaccine might be able to reverse type 1 diabetes mellitus, and what the new article reports.

Continue reading “BCG vaccine and type 1 diabetes – promising early data”

Flu vaccine and COVID-19 infections – some evidence it might lower risk

flu vaccine and COVID-19

Recently, I have been discussing the flu vaccine and COVID-19 infections. First, I debunked anti-vaccine myths. Second, I explained that the seasonal flu vaccine might be helpful in improving outcomes for patients who contract the coronavirus.

However, at that time, I wanted to make it clear that:

Once again, I am not making any claim that the seasonal flu vaccine will prevent a coronavirus infection. It’s just about comorbidities, that is, other health conditions that increase one’s risk for dangerous outcomes from the disease.

Because COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, anything that weakens the respiratory system could (and again, we don’t have solid information on the pathophysiology and comorbidities for the disease) lead to a worse course for the disease. And that would include a higher risk of mortality.

The flu vaccine can reduce the risk of one coronavirus comorbidity since the flu is a respiratory disease. So, the flu vaccine isn’t going to help reduce your risk of coronavirus infection, but it will reduce your risk of complications, including death, from COVID-19.

In addition, preventing the flu may help to reduce hospitalizations and ICU admissions, allowing for more capacity for patients who have contracted COVID-19.

But again, I assumed that the flu vaccine would have little effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This seemed biologically plausible because, as opposed to what Donald Trump claims, the flu virus and coronavirus are vastly different organisms. The two viruses are actually in two different phyla, meaning that the influenza virus and coronavirus are as closely related as a human is to a lobster. 

There appeared to be no scientifically supported reason to believe that the flu vaccine actually prevents COVID-19. However, there seems to be some intriguing, preliminary, and potentially convincing evidence that the flu vaccine may have some effect on the risk of COVID-19. Continue reading “Flu vaccine and COVID-19 infections – some evidence it might lower risk”

BCG vaccine for coronavirus – Can it work? Or is this a shot in the dark?

bcg vaccine for coronavirus

I originally wrote this article about the BCG vaccine for coronavirus about three months ago (that’s about 10 years in non-pandemic time measurement). Of course, as things happen with the coronavirus pandemic, ideas keep returning, and I wanted to make sure that this article is up-to-date with the most recent information about whether the BCG vaccine has any usefulness in preventing or improving outcomes of COVID-19.

I wanted to see if there was any evidence supporting the BCG vaccine for coronavirus, so here’s what I found. Continue reading “BCG vaccine for coronavirus – Can it work? Or is this a shot in the dark?”

BCG vaccine for COVID-19 – is a 100-year-old vaccine beneficial?

lung cancer vaccine

Ignoring quackery and Trump’s ignorance about chloroquine, it seems like everyone is throwing stuff at the wall to see if it works. Recently, while researching an article on coronavirus vaccines, I noticed that some were pushing the BCG vaccine for COVID-19.

I wanted to see if there was any evidence supporting the BCG vaccine for COVID-19, so here’s what I found. Continue reading “BCG vaccine for COVID-19 – is a 100-year-old vaccine beneficial?”

BCG lung cancer vaccine? The avian dinosaur analyzes the clinical trial

lung cancer vaccine

Recently, a paper was published which described a potential lung cancer vaccine. Interestingly, it’s not a novel vaccine, but it’s the BCG vaccine that’s been around for nearly 100 years.

Unless you are really into vaccines or had a typical education as a physician or nurse, you probably don’t know much about the BCG vaccine, because it’s not a typical part of the  CDC immunization schedule for either adults or children. 

So, let’s talk about this vaccine, and its use as a lung cancer vaccine. Continue reading “BCG lung cancer vaccine? The avian dinosaur analyzes the clinical trial”

BCG vaccine is priced too low – now, shortage for bladder cancer

bcg vaccine

You probably don’t know much about the BCG vaccine, because it isn’t used much these days. And no, it’s not one of the vaccines on the CDC immunization schedule for either adults or children. 

The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine, or BCG vaccine, was initially developed to prevent tuberculosis. The disease is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but they can also damage other parts of the body. Tuberculosis is treatable with advanced medicines, but it takes a long time and can be expensive. Without treatment, the patient will die.

So, why does it matter that the BCG vaccine is priced too low or that we have a shortage of it? Well, it has a couple of important uses (one current, and one potential) that has driven demand for the vaccine. And it’s not because there’s a sudden worldwide epidemic of tuberculosis. Continue reading “BCG vaccine is priced too low – now, shortage for bladder cancer”

Reverse type 1 diabetes mellitus with BCG vaccine – promising results

reverse type 1 diabetes

A clinical trial that examined the potential of the bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine, or BCG vaccine, to reverse even advanced type 1 diabetes mellitus was recently published in a Nature journal. In addition, researchers proposed a possible mechanism describing how the BCG vaccine may enhance the immune system and could stop and reverse the damage that leads to diabetes. But does this constitute evidence that this vaccine can really reverse type 1 diabetes? Spoiler alert – I’m not fully convinced, but my interest is piqued.

The BCG vaccine was initially developed to prevent tuberculosis. It is one of the oldest vaccines available on the market, first used in 1921 (pdf). With the successful eradication of tuberculosis in many countries, the vaccine isn’t used very much anymore, except in countries with endemic tuberculosis.

Let’s take a look at what we know about diabetes, how the BCG vaccine might be able to reverse type 1 diabetes mellitus, and what the new article reports. Continue reading “Reverse type 1 diabetes mellitus with BCG vaccine – promising results”

BCG vaccine – can it reverse type 1 diabetes mellitus?

bcg vaccine

Initial results from a clinical trial that is testing the ability of the bacillus Calmette-Guerin, or BCG vaccine, to reverse even advanced type 1 diabetes mellitus. In addition, researchers seem to have identified how the vaccine enhances the immune system, stopping and reversing the damage that leads to diabetes.

The BCG vaccine was developed to prevent tuberculosis. It is one of the oldest vaccines available on the market, first used in 1921 (pdf). With the successful eradication of tuberculosis in many countries, the vaccine isn’t used very much anymore, except in countries with endemic tuberculosis.

Although the results are very preliminary, the BCG vaccine may very well lead to an effective “cure” for type 1 diabetes. This will be an exciting development for what is now considered to be an incurable disease.

Let’s take a look at what we know about diabetes and how the BCG vaccine is able to reverse the disease. Continue reading “BCG vaccine – can it reverse type 1 diabetes mellitus?”