Preliminary Study Shows Promise For Long-Term Treatment Of Diabetes

This story is part 8 of an occasional series on the current progression in Regenerative Medicine. In 1999, I defined regenerative medicine as the collection of interventions that restore to normal function tissues and organs that have been damaged by disease, injured by trauma, or worn by time. I include a full spectrum of chemical, gene, and protein-based medicines, cell-based therapies, and biomechanical interventions that achieve that goal.

Results of a preliminary study show that we may be one step closer to achieving a long-term cure for Type 1 diabetes. After decades of research, there now seems to be at least partial success at transplanting functional insulin-producing islet cells into the human pancreas.

Type 1 diabetes is a major public health crisis. The disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own insulin-producing pancreatic cells. Without these insulin-producing cells, patients are at risk for blindness, disabilities, and are at increased risk for Covid-19.

Researchers from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Vertex Pharmaceuticals have discovered a method of growing insulin-producing pancreatic cells from stem cells. These insulin-producing cells can then be implanted into the pancreas of Type 1 diabetes patients. If the study continues to be successful, these researchers will have created a method to produce an unlimited supply of insulin-producing pancreatic cells to treat and possibly cure Type 1 diabetics.

Read the full article on Forbes

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