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Transplant to help with type I diabetes

04/03/2009 - News

Transplant to help with type I diabetes

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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The first patients are now receiving islet transplants, which restores the body's ability to make insulin.

The first patients are now receiving islet transplants, which restores the body's ability to make insulin.
In type I diabetes, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are destroyed and so the body becomes insulin-deficient. Those with the condition must take insulin for the rest of their lives.

Insulin is produced by clusters of cells known as islets within the pancreas. Therefore transplantation of islets is one approach to a cure for type I diabetes. Researchers at the University of Edmonton, Canada, have pioneered islet transplantation. A number of patients at the University of Washington, and elsewhere, have now received these transplants and are doing well. Another application is to give the islet transplant and a kidney transplant at the same time to those patients whose diabetes has led to kidney damage. These operations are also underway.

 

Source

University of Washington 31st July 2002

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