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March 18, 2003


Question from :

Is it possible to transplant islets from a healthy person to a person with diabetes? I understand the person donating the cells would probably have diabetes, or will the islets reproduce themselves in a healthy person? I know some parents, grandparent or relative who would gladly do this for a child, grandchild or another family member. Would one healthy person’s cells be enough for a person with diabetes?


From: DTeam Staff

It is possible to transplant islets from a healthy person who does not have into someone with type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes, However, at present, it requires the islet cells from at least two cadaver donors for there to be a successful result. In addition, the recipient is committed to lifetime immunosuppressive medication. Islets from a partially resected pancreas is thus not a possibility; but there is at present some very energetic research taking place on the development of surrogate insulin producing cells and on techniques for inducing graft tolerance much more readily.