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Type 2 diabetes patients reduce insulin use through bone marrow stem cell therapy

Bone marrow stem cell transplants can help patients with type 2 diabetes reduce the amount of insulin they need, according to new research published online in the journal Cell Transplantation.
There is growing interest among the scientific community in using stem cell transplantation to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus (TD2M), but few studies have looked at the potential of utilising the rich source of stem cells in bone marrow.
To examine the safety and efficacy of self-donated (autologous) transplanted bone marrow-derived stem cells in people with T2DM, scientists in India conducted a study involving type 2 diabetes patients who had good blood glucose control and a comparable diabetes control group that did not receive cell transplants.
The results showed that patients receiving the transplants required less insulin post-transplantatio, compared to the control group, with the transplanted stem cells demonstrating a considerable decline in insulin requirement.
A notably smaller reduction in insulin requirement was also observed among those in the non-transplant control group, but this was believed to be partly due to a “repeated emphasis on lifestyle modification.
“Autologous bone marrow-derived stem cell therapy in patients with T2DM results in significant decrease in insulin dose requirement,” the researchers concluded.
They said further, larger studies are needed to establish the efficacy and safety of stem cell therapy “in a greater number of patients and with a longer duration follow-up”, and to investigate which type of stem cells (bone marrow, hematopoietic, or placenta-derived) might be best for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

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