BCG INJECTIONS FOR DIABETICS
The standard BCG vaccine for tuberculosis given to thousands of British children has the potential to become a treatment for type 1 diabetes, reports The Times (p11). The vaccine briefly allowed three patients to begin producing insulin again after more than a decade with the condition, the paper says.
In 2001, Dr Denise Faustman, of Harvard Medical School, showed high levels of the protein TNF could reverse diabetes in mice. Since TNF is toxic in humans the researchers used the BCG vaccine which is known to boost levels of TNF.
Faustman is now testing to see if higher and more frequent doses could restore insulin production over a long time.
FUNDING CANCER DRUGS
Prime minister David Cameron came under fire on a radio show for increasing Britain's foreign aid bill while the National Health Service will not pay for a listener's cancer treatment, report the Daily Mail (p12) and The Times (p15).
The listener, who has non-Hodgson's lymphoma, said she needed ofatumumab (GSK's Arzerra) since she was allergic to rituximab (Roche's MabThera), but her NHS trust refused to fund it.
The PM is quoted by both papers saying the country had promised to meet pledges on aid, "and I think breaking your promises to the poorest people in the world would not be the right thing to do".
In its comment piece (p17), the Mail says "it borders on insanity to cling to reckless pledge made in another economic era" which was largely calculated to show people the Tory party had changed.
ADHD IN ADULTS
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could be almost as common in the over-60s as in young people, reports the Daily Mail (p13). Amsterdam's University Medical Centre found that in the over-60s, 3% suffer from ADHD - similar to the 2-5% proportion of schoolchildren.