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Novel Stem Cell Treatment May Hold Promise for Type 1 Diabetes
Date:1/11/2012

," Inverardi said.

The average hemoglobin A1C level dropped 1.06 percent for those with residual beta cell function and 1.68 percent for those without beta cell function. A1C levels measure average blood sugar levels over two to three months, and people with type 1 diabetes are advised to maintain A1C levels below 7 percent. A drop of 1 percent in A1C levels can reduce the risk of complications.

This was an initial clinical trial designed to test for safety. Zhao said that in future trials he hopes that with additional treatments people might get off insulin altogether.

But, even if that's not possible, the recovery of some beta cell function would be welcome news. "In the absence of complete remission, there are very sizable advantages to having some beta cell function," Inverardi noted.

Both experts said the treatment appears safe, with no risk of rejection. No significant side effects were reported during the trial, other than some arm soreness where blood was taken and returned.

More information

Learn more about type 1 diabetes from the Nemours Foundation's KidsHealth Web site.

SOURCES: Yong Zhao, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, section of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, department of medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago; Luca Inverardi, M.D., deputy director of translational research at the Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, and research professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Jan. 9, 2012, BMC Medicine online


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