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Question:

I have heard rumor of pancreas transplants in [a major United States city]. My information is that such transplants are a cure for diabetes. Please advise.

Answer:

Pancreas transplants have been used for many years as therapy for Type 1 diabetes. It's not a cure, since putting a piece of someone else's pancreas into a person with diabetes doesn't do anything about the autoimmune process that caused the diabetes in the first place.

The surgery is extremely complex, and the therapy that's needed to prevent the body from attacking and destroying the transplant is even more complicated. Many times, a hospital has tried one or two pancreas transplants, but I would strongly advise anyone interested in learning more about this procedure to contact one of the few medical centers that have a long track record, with publications that discuss their success (and failure) rate.

For more information, see Islet Transplantation from the Diabetes Research Institute in Miami, Florida.

WWQ

Original posting 4 Jan 97
Updated January 16, 2006

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:52
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