(CNN) – A new treatment for Type 1 diabetes may be around the corner.
A study published in the Nature Partner Journals highlighted a promising new use for a generic vaccine called Bacillus Calmette–Guérin, or BCG. The vaccine is used in a number of countries to prevent tuberculosis.
Also known as juvenile diabetes, Type 1 diabetes means the immune system attacks the cells that create insulin, a critical hormone that regulates the body’s blood sugar, or A1C.
In a small study, 12 patients A1C levels decreased after receiving two doses of BCG spaced four weeks apart.
Researchers observed nine of the 12 patients for five years. The other three were monitored for eight years.
A1C levels in those three patients dropped more than 10 percent in the three years following their injections.
Experts are cautiously optimistic, warning that the study did not provide enough clinical evidence.
But, Phase 2 is already underway. The researchers are monitoring 150 diabetic patients for five years.
It will be at least another four years before the research is published.