New Diabetes Treatment – Insulin Therapy could soon be a Thing of the Past

This is completely new and almost surreal to finally acknowledge that type 1 diabetes is almost at the verge of cure. In the University of Miami’s Diabetes Research Institute,a group of doctors successfully performed a surgery that might be the milestone medical science needed to combat type 1 diabetes to the point of complete cure.

Wendy Peacock is 43 and became aware of her condition as diabetes type 1 patient at the age of 17. She received therapeutic delivery of islet cells on August 18 through minimally invasive procedure that are now giving Peacock naturally produced insulin back into here system. She no longer has to stick herself with needles to inject insulin after the procedure, laying her off from dietary restrictions for good.

The immune system destroys the insulin producing cells in the liver inadvertently when the patient is suffering from type 1 diabetes. In the past, similar experimental treatments enabled doctors to span the patient’s insulin replacement therapy for up to 10 years. However, with the new technology at hands, the islet cell replacement procedure can now eradicate the problem to the extent of permanent cure in one sitting.

Diabetes Research

In a press release, the Director of DRI at the University of Miami who is also a professor of microbiology, biomedical engineering and immunology, Dr. Camillo Ricordi said,

“The technique has been designed to minimize the inflammatory reaction that is normally observed when islets are implanted in the liver or in other sites with immediate contact to the blood,” Dr. Camillo has been the key counterpart in the new research and has claimed that anti-rejection may soon be no longer needed.

He also said,

“If these results can be confirmed, this can be the beginning of a new era in islet transplantation. Our ultimate goal is to include additional technologies to prevent the need for life-long anti-rejection therapy.”

As it is not new to use islet cells for infusion, the previous treatments lacked the ability to keep the cells in a moderate state of function against the glucose level, a task which the researchers at UM are readily willing to take on. The liver is not the most hospitable environment for islet cells which often challenges the survival of the cells and the therapy to the point where the patient cannot receive any further treatment especially when the diabetes type 1 case is severe.

What was new to this procedure was the medium of injection. Traditionally in the past, the cells were delivered to the liver that resulted in several complications for the patient during the treatment, but in this breakthrough the doctors introduced a new method. The omentum is a fold of peritoneum membrane that bounds and scaffolds the abdominal organs and that is where they were injected. Thrombin, an enzyme that helps in the clotting of blood combines with the patients’ blood and forms a thick consistency material that allows the islets to remain in place while sticking to the omentum.

The Body absorbs the gel with the passage of time, allowing the islet cells to remain in place and taking in the oxygen and nutrients transferred to them through the reformation of the new blood vessels. Even to this stage, the anti-suppression medication and therapy will still be a part of the treatment, even in the case of Peacock so the body gets accustomed with the new cells over time.

In a meeting with the Miami Herald, Ricordi explained the difference between Peacock’s treatment in contrast to those patients that had cell replacement in the past.

“She is like a nondiabetic person but requires antirejection drugs, and”When you can do it without antisuppression, then it’s a cure.”

“As any type 1 knows, you live on a very structured schedule,” Peacock, relieved and satisfied with her treatment said. “I do a mental checklist every day in my head — glucose tabs, food, glucometer, etc. — and then I stop and say, ‘WOW! I don’t have to plan that anymore.'”

With the medical breakthrough, Ricordi is now in full spirits to take ‘BioHub’ into action. BioHub will be the most effective platform for doctors to collaborate and treat diabetes until a cure has been found.

Featured Image Source/Reference : http://www.miamiherald.com/

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