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[IPk] Islets transplants - non pump message

	I got quite a lot of requests for this article, so please find full
text below.  I copy-typed it, but hopefully I have picked up all the typos!!
Sorry if I have not.  There were also articles in the Times, Guardian and
Telegraph yesterday, but I have not seen any of them.

	Happy reading and here's hoping!!


Daily Mail, Wednesday 17th May 2000

Pioneer surgery may end daily jabs or diabetes
>From Peter Pallot in Chicago

A breakthrough in the treatment of diabetes by a British surgeon means hope
for sufferers everywhere, it is claimed.

They could be spared daily injections - and strict diets - following the
successful transfer of insulin-generating cells into eight patients, say

James Shapiro, who is currently working at the University of Alberta,
Canada, carried out the pioneering technique.  He extracted the cells from
the pancreas of dead donors, purified them and then injected them into the
trial patients through a main vein connected to the liver.  From this site,
the cells were carried into the liver where they "nested" and produced
sufficient insulin for the patients to live without having up to 15
injections daily.   Experts regard the successful transfer of the cells,
called the pancreatic islets, as a highly significant advance.

Until now the only treatment option for the most serious cases of diabetes
has been the transplantation of an entire pancreas, a major operation that
does not always work.

Injecting the islets into the portal vein was a "simple procedure" Mr.
Shapiro told the joint conference of the American Society of Transplant
Surgeons and the American Society of Transplantation in Chicago.  

Mr. Shapiro and colleague Jonathan Lakey purified the islets and kept them
alive so they worked in the recipient even though they were functioning in a
different organ.

The eight patients aged 29 to 53, all insulin-dependent diabetics since
youth, were now "totally off insulin", said Mr. Shapiro.

The first procedures were carried out 14 months ago.  The recipients had
very severe diabetes and often blacked out without warning.  "They were
crashing their cars, falling off horses or burning themselves while
cooking", added Mr. Shapiro.

The patients now lived ordinary lives and showed 'complete control' of a
chemical marker which signals damage from high blood sugar.

A new anti-rejection drug, Rapumune was key to the treatment, said Mr.
Shapiro, who formerly worked in Newcastle upon Tyne and Bristol.

He went on "the drug regime is extremely well tolerated.  There has been
clear and dramatic improvement in the quality of life for the patients and
no evidence of rejection."

Mr. Shapiro, 38, who is to receive the prestigious Hunterian medal at the
Royal College of Surgeons in London next week to mark his achievements in
medicine, said the only potential problem was being able to provide the
technique for the number of diabetics wanting it.  Getting a sufficient
supply of islets could be overcome in about five years by cloning

Eight transplant centres in the US and five in France are ready to try and
duplicate Mr. Shapiro's work.  Last night, Dr Richard Moore, clinical
director of the transplant centre at University Hospital of Wales, predicted
"enormous" demand for the procedure.  He added, "This really is a
breakthrough.  Diabetes Mellitus is a very severe disease and most diabetics
would jump at the chance to have a normal diet, avoid a regime where they
need several injections a day, and constant monitoring of blood sugar

Previous transplant attempts had failed because anti-rejection drugs often
damaged the very organs they were designed to keep in place.



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