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Promising advances in islet cell transplants for diabetes
Date:6/9/2008

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Progress in islet cell transplantation has been limited by the shortage of donor organs, said Oberholzer, who is associate professor of surgery, bioengineering and endocrinology at UIC.

"This study is extremely promising and shows that we can achieve success with fewer islet cells, freeing patients from the need to check their insulin, even after 20 or 30 years of suffering from diabetes," he said.

UIC is one of seven federally funded National Institutes of Health Islet Cell Resource Centers across the country that provides researchers with human pancreatic islet cells for transplantation into diabetic patients and for basic science research on diabetes.

"We have proven that if you have the right team and the right environment you can achieve islet cell transplantation success in a very short time," said Oberholzer, who has led UIC's program since 2003.

Building on results from Oberholzer's study, UIC is participating in the Clinical Islet Transplant Consortium, funded by the NIH to identify the most effective combination of anti-rejection drugs to maximize islet engraftment while reducing toxic side-effects.


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Contact: Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez
smcginn@uic.edu
312-996-8277
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

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