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Diabetes

NC Woman Is Now Insulin-free After Series Of Three Islet Cell Transplants

14 years, 5 months ago

2176  0
Posted on Jun 13, 2005, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

A North Carolina woman has been successfully treated for Type 1 diabetes, and is now insulin-free, as a result of three islet cell transplants performed at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Only 10 medical centers in the United States are currently offering this procedure, which is experimental and done as clinical research. Surgeon Paul F. Gores, M.D., described the procedure as "ground-breaking research that could one day change the quality of millions of lives."

A North Carolina woman has been successfully treated for Type 1 diabetes, and is now insulin-free, as a result of three islet cell transplants performed at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Only 10 medical centers in the United States are currently offering this procedure, which is experimental and done as clinical research. Surgeon Paul F. Gores, M.D., described the procedure as "ground-breaking research that could one day change the quality of millions of lives."

Dr. Gores stresses that this procedure, while successful in this case, and an important step in the research that will eventually result in a cure for all insulin-dependent diabetics, is not a cure for everyone. Only a few medical centers in the world -- ten in the United States -- are currently offering this procedure, which is experimental and done as clinical research.

"A significant challenge remains the scarcity of organ donors," explained Dr. Gores. Also because patients must take immunosuppressive drugs to protect the transplanted tissue from being rejected, the procedure is only for a select group of patients with Type I diabetes. Immunosuppressive drugs have several potentially serious side effects and until a method is discovered that protects the islets and is free of dangerous side effects, the procedure will not be appropriate for the vast majority of diabetic patients.

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