Islet Cell Transplants - Type 1 Diabetes

Doctors and researchers at the City of Hope have been developing a new procedure that combines islet cell transplantation with a bone marrow transplant (BMT).

In diabetics, the immune system often views islet cells–the cells that produce insulin–as a danger to the body and attacks them. The result is that the diabetic is not left with enough islet cells to produce sufficient insulin.

Islet transplantation is an experimental treatment that has the potential to decrease or even eliminate insulin dependence.

The islet transplant procedure

Islet cells are taken from the pancreas of organ donors (two donor pancreases are required to harvest enough islet cells for the transplant). During a surgical procedure, islet cells are taken from the donor's pancreas and put into the liver–which is more hospitable to the cells than an unhealthy pancreas–of the diabetic patient where they can begin to produce insulin.

As with all transplants, anti-rejection drugs are required after the procedure. After a successful transplant, the average islet transplant patient produces insulin for two to three years according.

Combining islet cell tranplantation with a bone marrow transplant

Whether repeat transplants can be done is yet to be determined but there is ongoing research into this area. A newer procedure that combines islet cell transplantation with a bone marrow transplant might be a better solution in the future. The goal of the bone marrow transplant is to prevent the patient's immune system from attacking islet cells.

This combination of BMT and islet cell transplantation reversed type 1 diabetes in mice with the use of only 10 percent of the amount of islet cells used in a typical islet cell transplant. Also noteworthy is that the islet cells were tranplanted into the pancreas, not the liver, which may mean better long-term results.

As City of Hope doctor Defu Zeng, who led the preclinical trial of this procedure, describes it,

"By requiring fewer islet cells for transplantation, this strategy would reduce the number of donor organs needed, and would make the native pancreas a suitable site for islet grafts. The new regimen appears to be able to overcome all the major obstacles currently facing islet transplantation procedures."

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Matcha tea is a rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage with amazing nutritional properties that address several diabetes health concerns. The trace...

It would be interesting to know how many people with diabetes actually use blood glucose control solutions to regularly check the accuracy of...

A mood is an internal state or condition of feeling. It colors everything else we experience, much like colored sunglasses add a tint to...

More Articles

When it comes to certain foods, there are always questions as to whether or not a diabetic can have them without...

Hot weather does not directly alter blood glucose levels. However, sweltering temperatures affect our metabolism and the release of hormones. Heat...

Those who have not yet been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can greatly reduce their susceptibility by doing one key...

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes...

Although diabetes is common, many people who have been diagnosed do not completely understand how it develops or whether it is hereditary....

Any sweetener you use to replace table sugar is a sugar substitute. One type of sugar substitute is artificial sweetener. Three other types...

It would be interesting to know how many people with diabetes actually use blood glucose control solutions to regularly check the accuracy of...

Diabetes is a health condition that disrupts the body’s normal production of insulin. Currently, more than one million Americans are diagnosed...

Matcha tea is a rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage with amazing nutritional properties that address several diabetes health concerns. The trace...

The HbA1c blood test, more commonly known as the A1C, is both a very useful and a very cool calculation of your average blood glucose levels over...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

A diabetes meal plan is a guide indicating what types of foods, and how much of them, people should eat at meal and snack time. Following a meal...

The most convenient places in a fridge to store our stock of insulin may not be the best places. We tend to think our refrigerators maintain a...

=It’s helpful to know the difference between a food’s total grams of carbohydrate, and net grams of carbohydrate since only net carbs affect blood...

Everyone from grandmothers to physicians tout oatmeal's wholesome goodness and health benefits. But, is oatmeal good for diabetics? Limited...