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March 12, 2005

Other, Research: Cure

Question from Des Moines, Iowa, USA:

My nephew has type 1 diabetes. His doctor keeps telling us that she is the only pediatric diabetic doctor in Des Moines. She also tell us that my nephew would be a perfect candidate for an islet cell transplant, but she won't tell us how to get him on the list for it. Could you help?

Answer:

Islet cell transplants are usually reserved for patients with severe hypoglycemia unawareness. Each center that performs islet cell transplants has their own criteria. I would suggest you contact a center where islet cell transplants are carried out. They are being performed in Minneapolis, Chicago, and Omaha, among others. I mention these as they are in geographic proximity to Des Moines. Centers can be located through the the United Network for Organ Sharing web site. UNOS is the organ sharing network that works on obtaining organs for recipients that require them.

JTL

[Editor’s comment: For information on how to find a pediatric endocrinologist, see a previous question. See also the Islet Trials Referral and Update Service web page.

BH]