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Type 1 Children Treated with Pig Islet Cells with Success

Oct 11, 2005

Many have gone years without any insulin injections or immunosuppressant drugs.

Researchers in Mexico have managed to treat children with diabetes type 1 using beta cells transplanted from piglets. The beta cells (islet cells) were transplanted from the pancreases of piglets, packed into small tubes and implanted into the abdomens of the 23 children.

The children were aged from 11-17. The beta cells from ten piglets were needed to provide enough cells for each child. Even after five years, the researchers can still detect insulin-producing cells within the children.

One of the biggest problems with whole pancreas or beta cell transplantation is the shortage of available organ donors.

The children did not need immunosuppressant drugs (medicine to stop rejection of a foreign body). Many of them have not needed insulin injections for years.

More Information:
Microencapsulating porcine islet cells for treatment of insulin dependent diabetes. www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=30500

Embryonic pig cell transplants halt rat diabetes.