As reported here, Yale University researchers found that taking the drug osimertinib once a day after surgery can cut the risk of dying from lung cancer by 51%. The researchers called the results “thrilling.”
“Treatment after surgery with osimertinib, also known as Tagrisso and made by AstraZeneca, ‘significantly lowered’ the risk of death in lung cancer patients, the trial results reported. ‘Adjuvant osimertinib demonstrated an unprecedented, highly statistically significant and clinically meaningful overall survival benefit in patients.
“After five years, 88% of patients who took the daily pill after the removal of their tumour were still alive, compared with 78% of patients treated with a placebo. Overall, there was a 51% lower risk of death for those who received osimertinib compared with those who received placebo.
As reported here, scientists have “repurposed” human stomach cells into tissues that release insulin to respond to rising blood sugar levels, and transplants of those cells (GINS, or gastric insulin-secreting) reversed diabetes in mice.
The experiments were led by researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine in the USA.
The scientists first had to transform stomach cells into GINS cells. “‘The stomach makes its own hormone-secreting cells, and stomach cells and pancreatic cells are adjacent in the embryonic stage of development, so in that sense it isn’t completely surprising that gastric stem cells can be so readily transformed into beta-like insulin-secreting cells,’ says Joe Zhou, an associate professor of regenerative medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.”
The findings could represent a breakthrough that can lead to more effective ways to manage type I diabetes.
“The reprogramming process is highly efficient, and when the cells were grown in small clusters known as organoids they showed sensitivity to glucose. They were then able to show long-lasting effects on diabetes in mice.” The GINS organoids were “stable upon transplantation,” exhibited glucose responsiveness 10 days after induction, and remained stable in the mice for as long as they were being tracked (6 months). They reversed diabetes in the mice.
There are still some hurdles before this would work in humans, the researchers caution. There are differences between human and mouse stomach tissues that need to be looked at more closely. As well, the GINS cells need to be made less vulnerable to being attacked and rejected by the body’s immune system.
But if scientists can create these GINS organoids in the human body and keep them safe from being rejected, it would lead to a more natural way for the body to manage insulin levels, as opposed to insulin injections.