Islet cell transplants becoming a welcome reality

It’s great to see stories where people are successfully undergoing islet cells transplants.

Kathleen Duncan has made the news this week for becoming the first woman in Scotland to receive an islet cell transplant.

A number of NHS centres around the UK are starting to roll out islet cell transplantation as a treatment procedure. The Edinburgh Royal Infirmary’s transplant unit, where Kathleen’s transplant was carried out is one of these with other islet cell transplant centres including London, Bristol, Oxford, Newcastle and Manchester.

Stopping the immune system
Those who have the transplants need to take anti-immune drugs to stop the body attacks the new insulin-producing cells in the pancreas but hopefully as more people receive the transplants, a greater understanding of how to stop the immune system attacking it’s own cells could follow.

The numbers of people who have received transplants in the UK is still low (dozens rather than treble figures) but it’ll be exciting to see how this area develops.

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About the author

Benedict Jephcote

I have been researching and writing about diabetes for the best part of a decade. I have a passion for helping people with diabetes and championing their rights. Outside of diabetes, I have a love of music and seventeenth and eighteenth century history.

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