Recent stem cell research and diabetes

Stem cell research and diabetes treatment is an ongoing project and it is exhibiting great promise.

Stem cell research and diabetes cure is an on-going project and it is exhibiting excellent promise. The University of Pennsylvania is currently conducting clinical trials for a new surgery called Islet Cell Transplantation.

The new procedure involves transplanting islet cells coming from a matching donor. Beta islet cells are the cells from the pancreas that produce insulin. The procedure is for Type 1 diabetics whose Beta islet cells are already destroyed therefore no insulin is manufactured. These patients have to be on insulin therapy for the rest of their lives. Because the cells are transplanted into the liver, the body following the first transplant will give warning signs when the blood glucose is too low. Many Type 1 diabetics don’t have any warning and quite often just black out that may be dangerous when driving or performing other crucial tasks.

Islet cell transplantation can’t treat many instances of Type 2 diabetes but is a probable cure for the over 700,000 people in the United States who have Type 1 diabetes. But, currently there are not sufficient donors to go around with only around 3,500 donor organs available a year ago. Most patients currently need 2 transplantations to get completely off insulin therapy.

The solution to this issue is to make islets in the lab utilizing stems cells. There is certainly research taking place using questionable embryonic stem cells together with stem cells extracted from adults. But as a result of ethical and political debate concerning stem cells this pathway into a cure is moving gradually. People who think that life starts at conception firmly oppose embryonic stem cell research because the cells originate from human embryos that are destroyed during this process. Embryonic stem cells have not become full grown into human cells and have the greatest potential to grow to be any type of cells in the body, including hair, skin, blood, toenail etc.

Opponents to this research feel that adult stem cells obtained from adult bone marrow is the solution to this challenge. But you will find studies which raise questions about the ability of these cells as therapies.

A current published study noted that an intestinal hormone triggered stem cells obtained from a pancreas to turn into islet cells that secrete insulin – these are typically called beta cells, there is however debate over this research and it has not had the capacity to be reproduced.

Even though the research using stem cells is in its infant stages quite a few scientists feel that this research holds the most promise for success for diabetics in order to quit taking insulin injection after their bodies start creating the hormone naturally.

Stem cell research and diabetes cure is definitely an ongoing project and is showing great promise in the fight to discover a remedy for this chronic disease.