Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NC woman is now insulin-free after series of three islet cell transplants

09.06.2005


Carolinas Medical Center is one of only 10 facilities nationwide offering this specialized procedure, which is still experimental but offers hope of dramatic lifestyle improvements for a huge number of Type 1 diabetics.



A Davidson woman has been successfully treated for her Type 1 diabetes through a procedure performed at Carolinas Medical Center. Paul F. Gores, M.D., has led a multi-disciplinary team through a series of three pancreatic islet cell transplants since the summer of 2003. The result is a patient who is now insulin-free. "This is a giant step for diabetes research, our transplant team, our patient, and all Type 1 diabetics," said Dr. Gores. "I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be a part of 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.

Islets are cell clusters in the pancreas that determine the body’s need, and release the necessary amount of insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels in the body. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce that insulin, forcing patients to inject insulin every day. Type 1 diabetes carries with it increased risks of kidney failure, nerve damage, heart disease, and blindness. "Daily insulin shots have been a part of my life for years," relates patient Andrea "Annie" Anderson. "I’m still getting used to life without finger pricks and needle sticks. I feel so fortunate to have received this procedure and for it to have been successful."

Before the transplant, islet cells are collected from a donor pancreas through a complex purification process. Physicians then insert a catheter into the patient’s abdomen, and using x-ray guidance, thread it into the portal vein, which carries blood to the liver. About a teaspoonful of islet cells are injected through the catheter. The cells disperse throughout the liver where it is intended that they will live and produce insulin. The patient is alert during the process but receives local anesthesia to numb the skin where the catheter is inserted. Most patients stay in the recovery area for a few hours, and are able to go home within a day or two. As in Annie’s case, more than one transfusion of islet cells may be needed.

"Islet transplantation has been in the experimental stage for more than 25 years," said Dr. Gores. "It’s considered a treatment rather than a cure, although in several recent studies, islet cell transplantation has been successful enough for some people with Type 1 diabetes to completely stop taking insulin injections. For Anderson this is a dream come true."

CMC’s islet cell transplant research is being funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The Transplant Center at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte has been active in transplantation since 1970 when the first kidney transplant was performed here. The program has grown steadily and today includes programs transplanting heart, liver, kidney and pancreas.

The islet transplant teams consist of surgeons, nephrologists (physicians specializing in kidney disease), transplant coordinators, scientists, social workers, dietitians and pharmacists. In 2004, the Transplant Center performed 83 kidney, 17 heart, 24 liver, and 5 kidney/pancreas transplants.

Raymond C. Jones | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.carolinas.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>