Ongoing stem cell research and diabetes

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

Stem cell research and diabetes cure is definitely an on-going project and is exhibiting great promise. The University of Pennsylvania is presently doing clinical trials for a new surgery referred to as Islet Cell Transplantation.

The new procedure entails transplanting islet cells from a matching donor. Beta islet cells are definitely the cells from the pancreas that produce insulin. The process is for Type 1 diabetics whose Beta islet cells are already destroyed and so no insulin is produced. These patients need to be on insulin therapy for the rest of their lives. Because the cells are transplanted in the liver, the body following the first transplant can give warning signs once the blood sugar is too low. Many Type 1 diabetics have no warning and often just black out that may be dangerous when driving or performing other crucial tasks.

Islet cell transplantation cannot treat many cases of Type 2 diabetes but is a possible remedy for the over 700,000 folks in the United States who may have Type 1 diabetes. But, currently there are not enough donors to go around with only around 3,500 donor organs available a year ago. Most patients presently need 2 transplantations to get completely off insulin therapy.

The solution to this challenge is to make islets in the lab using stems cells. There is certainly research going on using questionable embryonic stem cells and also stem cells obtained from adults. But due to the ethical and political debate concerning stem cells this pathway towards a cure is moving gradually. People who believe that life starts at conception highly oppose embryonic stem cell research as the cells are derived from human embryos that are destroyed during this process. Embryonic stem cells have not matured into human cells and also have the greatest potential to turn into any type of cells within the body, which includes hair, skin, blood, toenail etc.

Opponents to this research feel that adult stem cells extracted from adult bone marrow is the answer to this challenge. But you’ll find studies which raise questions regarding the capacity of these cells as therapies.

A recently available published study reported that an intestinal hormone triggered stem cells taken from a pancreas to become islet cells that secrete insulin – these are called beta cells, but there is 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 many scientists feel that this research holds the most promise for achievement for diabetics in order to stop taking insulin injection after their bodies start producing the hormone normally.

Stem cell research and diabetes cure is surely an ongoing project and is showing great promise in the struggle to find a remedy for this chronic disease.