December 17, 2012

Of Mice and Men In Diabetes Studies

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mice-and-men2When research is done on a mouse model and translated into man, are we expecting too much similarity? Researchers undertook the hypothesis and sought to understand a way to more closely develop the mouse models for testing to mimic human models.

The chances of a mouse study moving into human trials to demonstrate success has been hit or miss. For the development of drugs the mice have fit the bill. In developing a Type  2 diabetes animal to demonstrate a cure, researchers have tinkered with many different styles of inducing diabetes in the animal to reflect the origin in humans. None of the laboratory generated diabetic mice is exactly equivalent to humans.

Mouse studies for Type 1 diabetes are head-to-head with the Type 2 diabetes mouse models. When it comes to testing a drug for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes, it’s undeniable that the drug will eventually get the nod from the FDA. When it comes to finding a cure – we’re still waiting. The number of attempts that have passed in the Type 1 diabetes mouse model but failed to translate into human trials is disappointing. It only takes one. It hasn’t happened yet.

One of America’s greatest novels written by John Steinbeck, Of Nice and Men,  was made into a movie starring Gary Sinise and John Malkovich.  The title is taken from a poem which read: “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley.” This ironically means the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry. Perhaps there is truth in the translation from mouse trials to human trials?

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