Navigation Links
Stem Cells Buy Freedom From Insulin for Type 1 Diabetics

In small study, most of patients got temporary reprieve from daily injections

TUESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- A particular type of stem cell transplantation using the patient's own cells led to short-term freedom from insulin injections in 20 of 23 patients newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes participating in an experimental protocol in Brazil.

One patient even managed to go four years without needing outside sources of insulin, although the average was 31 months, said the authors of a report in the April 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a themed issue on diabetes.

The patients also kept their blood sugar under control, which is key to preventing complications from diabetes. And, the authors stated, increased C-peptide levels indicated that the pancreas' beta cells were alive and well.

"We were trying to preserve islet beta cell mass, that is, the cells that produce insulin, by stopping the immune system attack on these cells," said senior study author Dr. Richard Burt, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "Why new onset? Because we wanted to make sure there were still some islets there. We don't believe stem cells form islet cells, but if the islet cells are still there, there might be regeneration if we stop the attack soon enough."

The technique may not prove effective in patients with longstanding disease, warned Weimin He, an assistant professor at the Center for Environmental and Genetic Medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology.

Beta cells secrete insulin, the hormone which is critical in moving and storing blood sugar and, thus, maintaining stable blood-sugar levels. In type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disorder, the patient's body attacks its own beta cells.

Restoring the body's innate ability to produce insulin has been the holy grail of diabetes research. Some patients have received transplantations of insulin-producing cells from a donor, but none have remained free of exogenous (outside) insulin for longer than five years, said Dr. Spyros Mezitis, an endocrinologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. This was because the body eventually started attacking those cells as well.

The current approach is more hopeful, because it involves the patient's own stem cells, not only bypassing the possibility of rejection but also allowing, theoretically, an unlimited number of future cells to be produced, he said.

A 2007 study by the same group of researchers had found that autologous (using the patients' own stem cells) nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) allowed type 1 diabetes patients to revert to not using outside insulin, at least for a time.

"That was the first time in history we achieved normal blood sugar and A1c levels and were drug-free after one intervention," Burt said. "Otherwise, patients are stuck on insulin or islet transplant, but they still have to be on intensive immune suppression. On this treatment, they're on nothing. But the criticism was that maybe this insulin independence was a freak prolonged honeymoon period."

"It takes time for the body to attack and break down the insulin-producing cells," explained Mezitis. "So the cells continue producing insulin, then, as the body attacks the cells, they die out."

In this latest report, the authors found beta-cell improvements in 23 patients, aged 13 to 31, who were recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

All participants underwent HSCT, which involved removing the patient's own blood stem cells then reinjecting them into the body.

Twenty patients were able to stop injecting insulin, 12 of them for a mean of 31 months. Eight patients had to start taking insulin again at a low dose.

Not only were blood sugar levels normalized among those individuals who no longer needed outside insulin or needed less outside insulin; C-peptide levels rose significantly.

In other words, the beta cells seemed to be working, at least partially. There were some side effects noted, but no deaths among the participant group.

The study was funded in part by Genzyme Corp. and Johnson & Johnson-LifeScanBrazil.

More information

The American Diabetes Association has more on type 1 diabetes.

SOURCES: Weimin He, Ph.D., assistant professor, Center for Environmental and Genetic Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology; Spyros Mezitis, M.D., Ph.D., endocrinologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; April 14, 2009, teleconference with: Richard Burt, M.D., Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago; April 15, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Three Medical Centers Awarded Funds to Study Generation of Cardiac Muscle Cells
2. UCSF Team Closer to Creating Safe Embryonic-Like Stem Cells
3. New alternative to biopsy detects subtle changes in cancer cells, Stanford study shows
4. UCSF team closer to creating safe embryonic-like stem cells
5. Stem Cells Spur New Eggs in Ovaries of Adult Mice
6. Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
7. Molecule prompts damaged heart cells to repair themselves after a heart attack
8. Patient Movement Forms in Opposition to FDA Position that the Patient's Own Stem Cells are Drugs
9. Not just a long-distance relationship: Immune cells in skin fight off infection better than the rest
10. New technique invented to reveal pancreatic stem cells
11. JHU researcher discovers brain cells have memory
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Stem Cells Buy Freedom From Insulin for Type 1 Diabetics
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can ... inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film ... Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media of their ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Lafayette, California (PRWEB) , ... ... ... a pioneer in the patient payment industry today announced its strategic partnership ... and health system workflows. , The two companies’ proven, proprietary technology combine ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best ... individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a ... and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a holistic ... World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is located. ... some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its residents ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Cary, North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... the release of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of ... harvested for centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... to 2022" report to their offering. ... patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function of kidneys ... blood and thus the treatment helps to keep the patient ... Increasing number of ESRD patients & substantial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... startling report released today, National Safety Council research shows ... plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription Nation ... the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned a "Making ... , New Mexico , Tennessee ... states, three – Michigan , Missouri ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ANGELES , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused ... therapeutics, today announced that patient enrollment in its ... in Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient ... enrollment in the third quarter of 2016, and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: