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Question:

From Algonac, Michigan, USA:

I heard somewhere that they are experimenting with pancreas transplants for people with diabetes. Is this true? If so, what is the success rate?

Answer:

Pancreas transplants have been performed for the last thirty years. In good centers, the one to three year graft survival is 80% or greater. This is not considered experimentation at this point. It is standard clinical care for individuals who are already going to receive a kidney transplant.

Solitary pancreas transplants are performed, but are less common and are usually performed in the face of severe life-threatening hypoglycemia. Solitary pancreas transplants also show less survival than the combined procedure.

The whole pancreas is transplanted in the case of pancreas transplantation. However, the current enthusiasm for isolated islet cell transplants has be rekindled by recent successes where individuals have been kept insulin-free for over a year. However, immunosuppression was still required, and many individuals had to have more than one transplant to maintain the normal glucose status. Islet cell transplants are more experimental at this stage in development.

JTL

[Editor's comment: See: The Diabetes Monitor:Pancreas Transplantation for further information. WWQ]

DTQ-20010406140042
Original posting 23 Apr 2001
Posted to Research: Cure

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:22
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