Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Spring Valley, California, USA:

My 15 month old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. How close are we to finding a cure for it?


While there are exciting developments reported commonly to treat diabetes, our prognosis for a cure remains mostly a hopeful one. There is a newer protocol from Canada which shows some good promise in islet cell transplants. The pancreatic islet cells are the insulin-producing cells. One of the main reasons that pancreas transplants (and even islet cell transplants) have failed, is that treatment doe not address the underlying cause of most cases of type 1 diabetes, which is the body's own immune system attacking itself -- a so-called " autoimmune disease." When a new pancreas is given, the body's immune system often starts to reject the transplanted organ too, and in addition, anti-rejection medicines have many side effects, one of which can lead to higher glucose readings! The combination of medicines in this newer protocol shows some promise in keeping the rejection in check and not requiring medicines that otherwise affect the blood glucose. This protocol is now in clinical trials at other centers through the United States, but not for children (as far as I am aware).

Once the immune system has disrupted a patient's own insulin producing capacities, it does not appear that they can be "recharged" so a cure without a transplant is bleak, but some research in stem cells also holds some promise to "regrow" islet cells.


Original posting 4 Jul 2001
Posted to Research: Cure


  Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Return to the Top of This Page

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:22
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents. Our mission is to provide education and support to families living with type 1 diabetes.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2018. Comments and Feedback.