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[IP] The Islet Cell TX news release

   Diabetes Breakthrough

     (DNS, BCTV) - It's a made in Canada milestone for the treatment of
     diabetes and an advance that some doctors are even going so far as
     to call, cautiously, a cure. Researchers in Edmonton have
     successfully transplanted special human cells, which naturally
     produce insulin, into eight diabetics and the results are stunning.
     Avis Favaro of CTV News has the story: At a meeting of transplant
     experts in Chicago, researchers from the University of Alberta
     presented some exciting results: patients with insulin-dependant
     diabetes no longer needed daily injections of insulin after
     receiving pancreatic cell transplantations. Dr. Shapiro of the
     University of Alberta and his team took pancreatic cells from
     people who had died. They removed islet cells, which produce
     insulin, and injected them into patients who took a new class of
     anti-rejection drugs. None of the patients has had to take insulin
     - one for as long as 14 months. The side effects have been minimal
     and other doctors are impressed. Dr. Bernard Zinman of Mount Sinai
     Hospital says the individuals who successfully received the islet
     cells no longer have to monitor their glucose on a regular basis
     and they no longer have to take insulin injections. It is good news
     for the 200 thousand Canadian children and adults with type 1
     diabetes, who battle complications including kidney failure and
     near blindness. But there are problems. In the study, doctors
     needed two pancreases to get enough cells to treat just one
     diabetic patient, so it may be difficult to get enough donor organs
     to treat a significant number of patients. They also don't know the
     long-term effects of taking immune suppressing drugs. Diabetes
     clinics around the country were flooded with phone calls Thursday
     from diabetics wanting to try the experimental treatment. But the
     procedure is still very much in the testing stage and is not
     currently available. At this time you cannot even get on a waiting
     list because there isn't one. If you want more details on this
     story, check the Alberta Foundation for Diabetes Research website
     at the following address: [27] http://afdr.ab.ca. For more general
     information on diabetes, try the Canadian Diabetes Association
     website at: [[28] www.diabetes.ca.

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