Could Stem Cell Transplants Replace Insulin Injections?

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THE POSSIBILITY OF STEM CELL TRANSPLANTS IN THE PANCREAS
TO REPLACE INSULIN INJECTIONS FOR
TYPE 1 AND TYPE 2 DIABETES PATIENTS

A look into the type 1 diabetes research conducted by a team led by Dr. Jeffrey R. Millman, an assistant professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. His research also impacts patients with type 2 diabetes.

  • Type 1 diabetes is a medical condition that affects 3 million Americans, at a cost of $15 billion annually.
  • Dr. Millman’s team has been able to change skin cells from type 1 diabetes patients into stem cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
  • Dr. Millman believes that his research methods could lead to clinical trials in 3-5 years. He reports that one of the obstacles to overcome is the tendency of stem cells to cause tumor development.
  • Dr. Millman and Dr. Doug Melton at Harvard University are the most recent scientists to change stem cells derived from diabetes patients into insulin-secreting cells. Dr. Melton has been able to produce an extremely large quantity of beta cells for the first time, which means stem cell research is no longer limited by having only small amounts of beta cells to transplant.

UC Irvine was the first of the California universities to build a stem cell research facility, The Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center.

According to Dr. Wang
Practical implementation of stem cell therapy for Type 1 diabetes requires the following three conditions: control the autoimmune system, restore functioning islet cells without creating side effects, and build a pipeline of large scale islet cell production. Recent advances move us closer to the goal.

Read the complete STEM CELL ARTICLE from Medical Daily.

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