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Question:

From San Diego, California, USA:

I have a 7-year-old nephew in whom diabetes type 1 was detected one month ago. I would like to know more details about pancreas transplantation in kids his age, if it's definitive or not or if you have any other news that can help him to control the disease. He has taken insulin injections twice a day, but the doctors still don't know exactly the correct quantity. He and his family live in Brazil, but I am living in San Diego, California, which in my opinion make things easier due to the modern procedures.

Answer:

Pancreas transplantation is not currently indicated in children because of the requirement for immunosuppressive drugs that lower the immune defenses of the recipient. Since the child would have to take these drugs for the rest of his life, there would be a very high risk of development of complications, such as infections and cancer. There is in fact a 60% probability of developing lymphoma within 10 years from transplantation in pediatric recipients. There are, however, several new strategies under investigation to allow for transplantation without the continuous use of immunosuppressive drugs. Should one of these strategies be successful in the future, then pancreas or islet cell transplantation will be indicated also in children.

CR

Original posting 22 Oct 1998
Posted to Research: Cure

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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