[Previous Months][Date Index][Thread Index][Join - Register][Login]
[Message Prev][Message Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
[IP] Research Update
There are a lot of variables in this study, but let's hope those cells live
beyond a year!
RBA: USA: MICHIGAN WOMAN IS FIRST TO TRY POSSIBLE DIABETES CURE.
MIAMI, Dec 7 (Reuters) - A Michigan woman has become the first person
to undergo an experimental cell transplant that doctors hope will lead
to a cure for diabetes, officials at the University of Miami said on
On Sept. 11, doctors at the University of Miami's Diabetes Research
Institute transplanted insulin-producing cells, called islets, and
bone marrow cells from a deceased, unrelated donor into Jackie Warren
Demijohn, an outreach counsellor from Farwell, Michigan.
The operation, made public on Monday, made Demijohn, 40, the first
person to receive islets and specially enriched bone marrow without
receiving an organ transplant at the same time.
Demijohn had been suffering since she was seven from Type I diabetes,
meaning that her insulin-producing cells had stopped functioning,
forcing her to rely on insulin shots to control her blood sugar
<snip for space>
Since the operation, Demijohn has been able to control her blood sugar
levels and cut the amount of insulin she must inject each day by about
half. She also has told doctors that her vision has improved and that
she has regained sensation in her feet, which could be a sign of
"She's doing well," Zehtab said.
There have been several islet cell transplant attempts at other
medical centres, but they have failed or had limited success. Diabetes
patients also have been cured since the late 1980s by whole or partial
pancreas transplants, but those have been undertaken only in patients
receiving kidney transplants because diabetes has caused their kidneys
Organ transplant patients have to take immune-suppressing drugs for
life to keep their bodies from rejecting their new organs. Diabetes
patients who had not needed new organs had been barred from cell
transplants because the risks associated with anti-rejection drugs -
which can include cancer - had been considered too serious to allow
the cell transplants alone, Zehtab said.
Demijohn is the first diabetes patient to receive islet cells without
a transplanted organ, and with a new drug from Roche
Biomedical-Boehringer Mannheim Corp. called anti IL-2 receptor
antibody, which her doctors said is the first genetically-engineered
drug that has been shown to reduce the risk of organ rejection.
If her treatment proves successful, her immune system would become
"tolerant" of the transplanted islet cells, allowing doctors to taper
off the other anti-rejection drugs after a year, as is planned, Zehtab
Demijohn also was infused with "enriched" bone marrow cells, which her
doctors believe cut the risk of rejection.
"That is another way of saying that we're eliminating the more mature
T cells from the donor's marrow - the ones we believe may cause a
reaction against the host's cells called graft versus host disease,"
Dr. Rodolfo Alejandro, associate director of the Diabetes Research
Institute Cell Transplant Centre, said in a statement.
The Diabetes Research Institute plans to transplant 12 other patients
within the next year as part of the trial.
Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/