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I was thrilled to hear President Clinton had allocated $300 million more to diabetes research. It felt like diabetes was finally getting some of the attention it deserved. Still, it feels like the battle is only half won. I firmly believe that the research community should be held accountable to us - the people with diabetes who will eventually benefit from their work. Unfortunately, the average person with diabetes has very little say in what sort of research gets funded.
If we are ever to make this accountability a reality, we need to know what questions to ask, because asking the right questions can help us become our own advocates and will keep us informed as to which projects are likely to provide "tangible" benefits.
Islet cell transplantation is one avenue of research that could be promising. Below is a list of questions I would like to ask researchers working on islet cell transplantation. Armed with the appropriate information we can evaluate the wisdom of funding one researcher's work over another's.
If you are a professional working in this area with some answers or are a person who might someday benefit from this work with additional questions, I'd like to hear from you. Please write, fax or e mail me (see page 6).
If a clinical trial has been done:
Fewer than 5,000 cadavers provide organs of any kind every year, and only 1,000 pancreases are recovered each year. Is this enough to make your work a viable option?
We hope to present the answers to these questions and more on islet cell transplantation in future articles.
Apr 1, 1998
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.