From Kansas, USA:
My 16 year old grandson has had Type 1 diabetes for 5 years. Up until a year or so ago, I would see articles about pancreas cell implants, where the cell were injected under the skin, with plans to use pig pancreas cells. Now I no longer hear about this. What happened? Is this available?
So far as I am aware there have been no significant breakthroughs in this area in the last year. Progress continues to be made in implant technology with a variety of different ways of protecting beta cells from immune attack including ceramic beads, special gel bubbles (like frog-spawn), etc. All such work is still in the experimental phase and certainly not yet ready for an otherwise well 16 year old. Whether we end up using porcine beta-cells, human beta-cells or non-beta-cells altered to make them produce insulin is also still up in the air.
Don't hold your breath, but I think there may be something useable (even if only to supplement insulin injections) within the next 10 years.
Original posting 18 Oct 1998
Posted to Research: Cure
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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