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 What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals
23.08.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Treating arthritis with algae
23.08.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>