Major breakthrough in type 1 diabetes

Last week Harvard researchers announced a major breakthrough regarding type-1 diabetes treatment.

For the first time ever, scientists were able to make insulin-producing beta cells from human embryonic stem cells. Moreover, they were able to make enough in quantity needed for cell transportation and pharmaceutical use.

According to Elaine Fuchs, the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor at Rockefeller University, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator who was not involved in the work, the findings represent one of the most important advances ever made in stem-cell research.

"For decades, researchers have tried to generate human pancreatic beta cells that could be cultured and passaged long term under conditions where they produce insulin," Fuchs said. "[The researchers] have now overcome this hurdle and opened the door for drug discovery and transplantation therapy in diabetes."


Animal trials in motion

The beta cells are currently being used in animal-model trials, but according to lead study investigator Doug Melton, the hope is that human transplantation trials will begin in a few years.

"We are now just one pre-clinical step away from the finish line," said Melton, who began his work 23 years ago when his then infant son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

"It was gratifying to know that we could do something that we always thought was possible," he said, "but many people felt it wouldn't work. If we had shown this was not possible, then I would have had to give up on this whole approach. Now I'm really energized."

The final step, Melton said, is making sure the immune system will not attack the approximately 150 million new cells that would be transplanted into a patient.


Source: Harvard University
Photo credit: Gísli Hjörleifsson


More Articles

Having diabetes is cause for concern, however it doesn’t mean that you need to eliminate all of your favorite foods from your diet completely....

With diabetes becoming more of an epidemic each and every day, being knowledgeable about the disease, its effects on the body as well as ways to...

If you’re a diabetic or live with one, it can be tough trying to figure out the best foods to eat because your priority is to control your blood...

In this post, I will show you the 10 best ice creams for diabetics.

When you think of sweetened foods that a diabetic shouldn’t consume,...

If you’re living with diabetes, snacking is a necessity because going for more than 3-4 hours without eating can be detrimental to your health....

More Articles

For diabetics, choosing healthy snacks can be a daunting task.

A good rule of thumb is to pick out snacks that are rich in protein, fiber,...

According to information available through the National Institutes of Health, there’s an estimated 462 million people in the world who are...

Eleven Clinical Studies

After eleven clinical studies and 300,000 participants, researcher Vasanti Malik and her team of researchers...

Diabetic women often have a harder time losing weight than non-diabetic women. A study funded by Jenny Craig proved that diabetic women have an...

Many recent studies have proved that magnesium levels are lower in patients with diabetes than in non-diabetics. This magnesium...

Fluid retention, also known as edema, is a problem that affects many diabetics, especially those with type 2 diabetes...

Some of us might be thrilled if we could manage our blood sugar by sitting in a hot tub or sauna, instead of working up a sweat biking, or using...

Cooking and baking with the ancient cereal grain sorghum has health benefits for people with diabetes, and those with weight control issues....

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

With its slightly nutty flavor, chewy texture, and nutritional punch farro is an ancient whole grain worth a place in our pantry.

Farro...

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

The...

Salads are good example of foods that type 2 diabetics can enjoy with relatively low guilt. With the right greens and other elements added, salad...

Remaining gainfully employed is important to many people. Those who live with any form of diabetes may find that some lines of work are more...

Learning that you have diabetes does mean making some lifestyle changes. One of the areas that needs attention is your diet. Most people find that...

One of the more challenging aspects of life as a type 2 diabetic is managing your diet. There’s often the temptation to avoid certain foods...