Islet Cell Transplantation: Can It Facilitate Insulin Independence?

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Islet Cell Transplantation: Can It Facilitate Insulin Independence?
Islet Cell Transplantation: Can It Facilitate Insulin Independence?
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Author(s): 
By Jessica Kaylor, BA, and John S. Steinberg, DPM

In Conclusion

The most crucial area for improvement of islet cell transplantation is in the development of immunosuppressant drugs that minimize system-wide immunosuppression while fostering better acceptance of transplanted islet cells. Perhaps the most promising possibility is the potential use of stem cells to eliminate problems with availability of islet cells.7,8 Nevertheless, the development of cells — that produce insulin like the beta cells of the pancreas — from stem cells will undoubtedly be the subject of continued research.

   Clearly, at this point, islet cell transplantation is not a practical cure for those diagnosed with diabetes. However, this type of advanced therapy and research represent the great strides that have been made to discover methods of establishing insulin independence for patients with diabetes.

Ms. Kaylor is a Research Intern at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC.

Dr. Steinberg (pictured at left) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.




References:

References
1.    Hopkins Tanne J. New technique improves safety of islet cell transplantation. BMJ. 2005 Dec 3;331(7528):1290.
2.    Lakey JR, Mirbolooki M, Shapiro AM. Current status of clinical islet cell transplantation. Methods Mol Biol. 2006;333:47-104. Review.
3.    Balamurugan AN, Bottino R, Giannoukakis N, Smetanka C. Prospective and challenges of islet transplantation for the therapy of autoimmune diabetes. Pancreas. 2006 Apr;32(3):231-43. Review.
4.    Bertuzzi F, Marzorati S, Secchi A. Islet cell transplantation. Curr Mol Med. 2006 Jun;6(4):369-74. Review.
5.    Evgenov NV, Medarova Z, Pratt J, Pantazopoulos P, Leyting S, Bonner-Weir S, Moore A. In vivo imaging of immune rejection in transplanted pancreatic islets. Diabetes. 2006 Sep;55(9):2419-28.
6.    Bloch K, Vardi P. Toxin-based selection of insulin-producing cells with improved defense properties for islet cell transplantation. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2005 May-Jun;21(3):253-61. Review.
7.    Bretzel RG, Eckhard M, Brendel MD. Pancreatic islet and stem cell transplantation: new strategies in cell therapy of diabetes mellitus. Panminerva Med. 2004 Mar;46(1):25-42. Review.
8.    Ridgway DM, White SA, Nicholson ML, Kimber RM. Pancreatic islet cell transplantation: progress in the clinical setting. Treat Endocrinol. 2003;2(3):173-89. Review.
9.    Bussiere CT, Lakey JR, Shapiro AM, Korbutt GS. The impact of the mTOR inhibitor sirolimus on the proliferation and function of pancreatic islets and ductal cells. Diabetologia. 2006 Oct;49(10):2341-9. Epub 2006 Aug 9.

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