First report from diabetes islet transplantation trial NCT02213003
A women suffering from type I diabetes received islet transplantation as part of an ongoing clinical trial (NCT02213003). In type I diabetes, the patient’s own insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed. Here, islet tissue from a donor was combined with patient (autologous) plasma before transplantation into the abdomen. The tissue was attached to the omentum, which lines the abdominal cavity. Treatment with (exogenous) insulin was stopped after 17 days post-transplantation. Although the patient’s glucose levels slightly increased over time, they did not reach diabetes levels and the patient did not return to exogenous insulin therapy within the 12 month follow-up period. The trial is still ongoing and data from longer term follow-up and additional patients will hopefully provide more information abut the long term safety and efficacy of the treatment. Ultimately, the goal of islet transplantation research is to restore insulin production in diabetes patients without the need for immunosuppressive drugs.
Original article: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1613959
Digest for a general audience: http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/49406/title/Bioengineered--Pancreas--Effective-in-First-Patient/