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Cell Transplants Show Help For Some Type One Diabetics

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posted on Sep, 28 2006 @ 06:07 PM
A study involving 36 patients in the countries of Canada, United States, Germany, and Switzerland each underwent Inslet cell transplantation. This procedure was first attempted by a doctor at the University of Alberta. The Islet cells were harvested from dead donors and were infused into the hepatic portal vein on the volunteer patients. One year after the procedure forty-four percent of the patients were insulin free. At the end of two year five were still able to remain insulin free. Dr. Shapiro feels that despite the large failure of the study patients that improvements in protocol as well as better anti rejections may deliver better results.
Since 2000, 36 patients from the USA, Canada and Europe have undergone islet cell transplants. One year after their operation 10 patients experienced no benefit (the transplanted cells didn't survive), 10 had better control of their illness, while the remaining 16 did not need daily insulin injections.

Islet cell transplants were seen as the ultimate cure for people with diabetes type 1 six years ago when the procedure first began. The researchers say that for the moment, the procedure is not the cure everyone was hoping for. It can only be used on a selected number of patients. However, the scientists believe the day will come when Diabetes Type 1 patients no longer need to take their daily insulin shots.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I do not know the numbers of the people out there who are diabetic, but I do know there are an awful lot of them. So despite the fact that after two years only 5 of the original 36 were still insulin free this will offer hope to many, many people. There has been a lot of talk on this board about how medical research is just a money pit, and that no one really wants to find a cure because the treatment is to valuable. I cannot say that is not a possibility but I really do hope that this treatment will evolve into a cure.

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