Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
December 13, 2002
Question from Owensboro, Kentucky, USA:
I have been following progress of adults having cell transplants, and there have been so good successes. Is there a study going on as to how successful this procedure would be in children? How can I find out more information on this?
About two years ago, a group in Canada reported the first consistent success in islet cell transplantation. This conspicuous step forward has been limited however for two reasons. First of all, it took the islets from two and sometimes three donors and secondly it was still necessary to commit to a lifetime of immunosuppressive drugs. It is because of this second problem especially, that no clinical studies of this procedure in children have yet been permitted in the U.S.
At the same time, a great deal of research is going on, some very promising indeed, on the ways to avoid long term immunosuppression and also into developing techniques for culturing human islet cells or genetically engineering a persons own cells so that they produce insulin in response to a blood sugar rise. All this is still probably at least ten years away from any routine clinical application, but, in the meantime there have been important advances in the ways insulin is given and even faster progress is being made in the development of an external pancreas where an implanted glucose sensor is connected safely to an insulin pump.