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Re: [IPk] Surgical breakthrough

>Thought this story from the BBC health site might be of interest
>Breakthrough surgery for diabetes

This is the text of the BBC article:

>A surgical breakthrough could mean an end to insulin injections and strict
>diets for many diabetics. The technique involves transplanting
>insulin-producing islet cells from the pancreas of a healthy donor.
>British surgeon James Shapiro says he has successfully carried out surgery
>on eight people who once had chronic diabetes. Mr Shapiro, now based at
>the University of Alberta in Canada, told surgeons at a conference in
>Chicago that the patients were now living completely normal lives.
>The British Diabetic Association said the new treatment was "very
>exciting" but could lead to massive demand from sufferers. Spokesman Bill
>Hartnett said: "This looks like an extremely interesting development and
>would greatly improve the quality of life for those with diabetes."
>The transplanted cells were extracted from the bodies of donors and kept
>alive and purified before being injected into the recipients through a
>main vein connected to the liver. They were then carried into the
>bloodstream and "nested" in the liver, and despite not being in the
>patient's pancreas they still manage to produce insulin. The eight
>patients, aged 29 to 53, were quickly able to live without injections
>after having previously been on up to 15 a day.
>Mr Hartnett said: "There has been a lot of work done on transplanting but
>this looks like it might have more chance of being successful. We will be
>keeping a very close eye on it, although at the moment we would sound a
>note of caution as nothing has been published yet. No matter how well
>people control their diabetes with injections and diets, they can never
>have a perfect system. They also risk long-term health problems like heart
>disease, strokes and blindness. But no doubt there would be a great demand
>for a treatment like this, and it would put a strain on the NHS."
>Future cloning techniques could overcome the problem of getting enough of
>the cells, Mr Shapiro told 3,800 delegates at the joint conference of the
>American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the American Society of
>Transplantation. Patients would have to take anti-rejection drugs for life
>but a new product called Rapamune had shown few side effects in trials, he

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