We have had a lively discussion in part I of this series and I saw some news a couple of days ago that is a continuation of the subject in my mind.
Part 1 is available here
This is for my brothers and sisters who are type 1 diabetics whose pancreas have failed to work.
It is so simple that it seems surreal. Can a cure be this simple? Diabetes is becoming as prevalent as the common cold and I envision a day when a diabetes cure becomes available and over the counter as easily as cold medicine. Untill that day happens however we are left with visions of whats here and what is yet to come.
Scottish doctors are using donated pancreas to harvest insulin producing Inset cells and inject them into type 1 diabetics and thus shift them away from daily insulin dependency.
Now this is pioneering surgery and it has just been launched but I am sure it is excellent news for diabetics world wide especially if this procedure can become available locally and cheaply.
While the news did not go as far as calling this a cure for diabetes I am left to interject on the notion that it is what it is, since it solves our main fundamental issue.
Diabetes by definition is a disease that afflict the pancreas to prevent the creation of insulin and this operation will give you back that ability.
Now this procedure targets only type 1 diabetics whose pancreas has failed as opposed to type 2 whose bodies have a resistance to insulin so we are talking about two different scenarios but if the breakthrough procedure works as it is intended, it means relief for a lot more type 1 diabetics who have to rely on pumps and constant insulin injections.
As usual costs for this procedure have not been fully quantified, for this to work it requires liver and organ donations. Organ availability will always have to be an issue as it is at present with other tissues but we already have the donor registry infrastructure in place then after that it is simply an outpatient procedure with local anesthesia.
So is this the proverbial diabetes cure for type 1 diabetics, I will let you be the judge of that.
Part 1 is available here
Tomorrow we will tackle the more serious of operations like gastric bypass and organ transplants as cures for diabetes please join us in that discussion as well at the poor diabetic blog
Here is a news article summarizing this
Please note the paragraph regarding eligibility:
Who is eligible for a transplant?
Because the drugs required to prevent rejection of the transplant can have serious side effects, the procedure is currently only suitable for those people who have extreme problems controlling their diabetes, experience innumerable hypos with little or no warning, which can be life threatening, and as a consequence have drastically reduced quality of life.
You would be required to take immuno-suppressant drugs for life, and there are side effects to those. The article does not address whether those immuno-suppressant drugs would address the issue of the implanted cells being destroyed by the same process that destroyed the recipient’s islet cells in the first place
Ditto on everything Scott said. Not simple at all, I’m afraid. Not as invasive, but this isn’t essentially any different from pancreas transplants. These people also take immune suppressant drugs for life to prevent rejection.
Other trials are more promising, though many years away, including Dr. Faustman’s work & Diabecell’s using encapsulated porcine cells.
As stands it is essentially a choice between two evils. Even with a normal Insulin regiment, long term complications are still very much possible. so would one choose immune suppressants over Insulin? In the follow up to the series I am highlighting the story of the Oregon woman who did get both kidney and pancreas transplant and she says for her she would take the suppressants over the diabetes type 1 life she had before that.
Up to each person to decide. From someone in kidney failure facing certain & painful death, I’d think a kidney transplant would be the clear choice.
I’d rather be on insulin than risk the associated problems of immune suppressant drugs for life.
What I’m concerned with is your statement that the answer is “so simple that it seems surreal.” It’s not simple.
Does this compare to the Edmonton Protocol ?? …the big problem there is , that one needs a min . of 3 cardavers and timing of the surgery is of utmost importance .Some of the recipients are requring insulin , however they do not have the ( dangerous ) hypo unawereness they suffered . Todate not everyone will qualify , because of the issues mentioned above .
@gerri…I meant the procedure is so simple. Just a single injection done in an out patient procedure under local anethesia.
Gotcha–thanks. That part is simple:)