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New islet cell transplantation trial recruiting

Researchers from the Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope in California are recruiting adults for an islet cell transplantation trial.
To qualify for the trial, participants must have had type 1 diabetes for more than 5 years. In addition, they must have poor hypo awareness, or experience a lot of hypos.
“We are one only a few islet cell transplantation programs in the country,” said Fouad Kandeel, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Clinical Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at City of Hope.
“This trial, in addition to providing a much needed potential cure for patients with severe type 1 diabetes, will also be vital in opening the door to other major studies to address the medical needs of these patients.
“The immune-suppression strategy that is being used in the current trial is considered a significant improvement over the protocol used in previous islet cell transplantation trials.”
In theory, the transplantation improves the function of regulatory T cells. Previous studies found that 60 per cent of patients produce enough insulin to support themselves five years after the transplant.
Through the study, the researchers hope to assess the potential of islet cell transplantation as a type 1 diabetes cure. If it does not work, it will hopefully reveal why the body rejects islet cells.

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