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Question:

From a physician in Tennessee, USA:

I have been following the bulletin board on The Islet Foundation website with regard to the successes concerning the development of a bioartificial pancreas. It sounds too good to be true. I have two children, ages 3 and 4 1/2, with Type 1 DM so I want to believe what I am reading. I would appreciate an independent opinion if you are able to provide one.

Answer:

As far as we know in the scientific community, they are trying to develop (at a very early stage) a xenotransplantation model with encapsulated fetal pork islets. There has been some recent work that shows that human islet cells can indeed be induced to regenerate but our understanding of the process still falls a long way short of any clinical applicability and therefore human islet cell transplantation remains a disappointment with a success rate around 25% at 2 years. Xenotransplantation looks as though it might ultimately and really offer something new in the next decade; in time for your two children to possibly benefit sometime in the future, but not at the present.

MS

Original posting 1 Sep 97

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