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February 19, 2005

Research: Cure

Question from Brazil:

My girl friend has diabetes. What can I expect for the next 10 years? Can I expect a cure with either stem cells or islet cells?

Answer:

Not many of us can give you a definite answer because science does not work so directly. There are many research teams working around the world on better treatments and cures. While there are several who have successfully used islet cell transplants, they are still very experimental and long term success is still not good enough to do this transplant procedure on large numbers of people. Also, it is very expensive and there are still not enough actual islet cells for all the people who might want this tried. So, it is best to learn about diabetes from your girlfriend and ask her how you may help her to optimally care for her own diabetes. Improving glucose control will make her life healthier and less likely to be harmed by the glucose-related long term complications.

SB