From Virginia, USA:
I have heard that the University of Florida has found a way to transplant islet cells without rejection by using bone marrow from the same donor. I would like to know more about this research.
It is actually our program at the Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine. Following encouraging results in experimental models, we just started a pilot clinical trial of transplantation of islet cells and bone marrow progenitor cells (stem cells) from the same donor of the pancreas. The donor bone marrow cells are infused with the objective to educate the recipient immune system to better accept the islets with less anti rejection drugs. The plan is to reduced and maybe even discontinue anti rejection therapy starting one year after the transplant.
So far three patients have received the combined islet-bone marrow transplant after we obtained FDA approval for the trial (in September, December 1998 and January 1999). The patients are doing fine, but it is still too early to make any relevant prediction. More information and updates on this trial can be obtained at our website: http://www.drinet.org.
Original posting 19 Feb 1999
Posted to Research: Cure
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