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Question:

I am researching the topic of fetal tissue cell transplantation due to the fact that my girlfriend is losing her life long battle with this awful disease. She is a Type 1 diabetic and has little success with present day methods of daily insulin injections. What countries legally do fetal tissue transplants for diabetics and how much would a procedure like this cost?

Your help and information may result in saving the life of my future wife!

Answer:

Human fetal islet cell transplantation was a popular theme about fifteen years ago. However, there were problems both ethically as well as in obtaining and preparing enough viable tissue and in the few cases where this approach was actually used the results were very disappointing. Nowadays the emphasis is on whole pancreas transplantation, a procedure usually reserved for patients who also require a kidney transplant or on islet cell transplantation in conjunction with one of the newer immunosuppression protocols.

Before considering a transplant, however, it is very important that your fiancee's status be evaluated in an established diabetes care center. There have been substantial recent advances in the management of late stage Type 1 Diabetes with new insulins, new regimens for intensive insulin delivery, new ways of managing raised blood pressure and the early stages of eye and kidney involvement.

The cost of a transplant in the U.S. would be at least $100,000 if you do not have insurance, however the cost of a thorough clinical evaluation could be less than $500 plus the travel costs.

DO'B

Original posting 26 Jul 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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