The Future of Diabetes: Improving Islet Transplantation

Published in: Stanford Medicine SCOPE. May 27, 2020.
Author: Erin Digitale

This year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve islet transplants as a treatment for people with type 1 diabetes. The transplants, which deliver insulin-making cells to replace those lost to the disease, have been classified as experimental in the United States since they were first performed more than 20 years ago.

Islet transplants hold great promise for treating type 1 diabetes, especially for what’s colloquially known as “brittle diabetes,” in which patients have a lot of difficulty safely managing their blood sugar with insulin injections, said Stanford interventional radiologist Avnesh Thakor, MD, PhD, who conducts research on islet biology and transplantation.

Nearly 1.6 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, and more than 70,000 are likely to be good candidates for islet transplant.

This year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve islet transplants as a treatment for people with type 1 diabetes. The transplants, which deliver insulin-making cells to replace those lost to the disease, have been classified as experimental in the United States since they were first performed more than 20 years ago.

Islet transplants hold great promise for treating type 1 diabetes, especially for what’s colloquially known as “brittle diabetes,” in which patients have a lot of difficulty safely managing their blood sugar with insulin injections, said Stanford interventional radiologist Avnesh Thakor, MD, PhD, who conducts research on islet biology and transplantation.

Nearly 1.6 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, and more than 70,000 are likely to be good candidates for islet transplant.

But islet transplants come with a unique set of technical challenges, including ensuring that the cells get enough oxygen to stay alive after transplantation. Thakor’s team recently addressed this issue in a paper published in Advanced Functional Materials.

Read whole article: https://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2020/05/27/the-future-of-diabetes-improving-islet-transplantation/

The future of diabetes Improving islet transplantation