Stem Cell Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes

Stem Cell Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes

| Jun 29, 2012

A small Chinese study has reported that 15 of 28 young type 1 patients, aged 14 to 30 years, who underwent an experimental adult stem cell procedure were able to stay off insulin injections for an average of 18 months. Though not conclusive, the study highlights an interesting avenue of research that could eventually dramatically reduce insulin dependence among type 1s.

The patients were enrolled in the study by researchers at Ruijin Hospital in Shanghai, China, an institution that has been conducting extensive research into both embryonic and adult stem cells.
The procedure used on the young patients involved two steps. First, in an experimental treatment called autologous nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, the patients received drugs designed to stimulate their production of blood stem cells. The cells were then set aside and frozen.

Next, the researchers administered drugs designed to kill the immune system cells that attack insulin-producing pancreatic cells in type 1s. Once that was done, the blood stem cells were unfrozen and injected into the patients. The immature cells lacked the destructive programming of the immune cells they replaced.

The results were very encouraging. More than half of the patients were able to quit insulin use for significant periods of time, including eight who have gone two years without needing insulin injections and one who has gone 42 months without an insulin shot.

Among the side effects of the immune-system suppressing drugs were bone marrow suppression, hair loss, fever, nausea, vomiting, and low white blood cell counts. According to the Chinese researchers, however, most side effects were gone after four weeks, and none of the 28 patients developed an infection.
An abstract of the study is available.

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Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes Health, Insulin, Research, Stem Cells, Type 1

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Posted by Anonymous on 29 June 2012

How does nuking one's immune system possibly pass as a treatment or dare say a cure? The FDA will NOT approve this in the USA. Science is so lost when it comes to Type 1 diabetes research.

Posted by Anonymous on 30 June 2012

I am from a family that has a family history of breast cancer me and my husband are cousin both our mothers are sisters and died from this awful disease my daughter 24 years old suffer from being type 1 diabetes from about 10 years .Do you think that this treatment will put her to a high risk?

Posted by Anonymous on 3 July 2012

As A Type 1 Diabetic for 22+ yrs I DON'T support this method of treatment at all. Shutting down/weakening the immune carries a very higher risk of other health issues down the road than having Diabetes. This method of treatment will dammage all your vital organs including heart, lungs and Kidney function and among other things.

Let's get one thing straight Diabetes is not Cancer. Shame on these researchers using Chemo as an alternative to find the alleged cure for T1D. These researchers should go back to Med school and re-take courses for Endocrinology as they don't know what Diabetes is all about. It's obvious research for T1D is in a very poor light and I find this to be extremely dispointing, and disturbing to be in the 21st century and there is still nothing out there. By the way the FDA would never approve this "barbaric" method to treat T1D. Even if this ever becomes approved in North America I would never ever consider this option.

If your A1C's are in good control you are still considered healthy. However with this method of treatment your health will deteriorate faster compared to the health you are in right now with Diabetes.

If so Dr's Best & Banting would be appalled just as I am.

Posted by Anonymous on 3 July 2012

Are the stem cells from aborted fetus cells?
If they are, I want no part of it---
You don't take a life to save a life.
I realize that abortion is happening legally in this country, but it's not far from what they did in Nazism.
I am loosing more and more faith in the Type I Diabetes programs---if they can send a man to he moon and do all that they are doing now with technology.
They could have gotten to the root of this cause long ago and stopped it at least.
Simply put---Type I Diabetes is NOT a priority in this country.
Someone is making lots of money off of other peoples pain.
But then that is the kind of world we are in.

One day it will all come to light---And God help them if they could have saved lives and didn't.

Posted by Anonymous on 3 July 2012

My 70 year old father went through a similar treatment for his cancer. Although it did not cure him he was in remission for quite some time. (still alive and well 6 years later) Having two children T1D I would have to say I would not be opposed to supporting their decision to try this as a hope for a cure. Hope is a strong lure and diabetes can be so debilitating to body, mind, and soul as cancer can be. Those of us unafflicted by chronic disease cannot truly know what we would do to cure ourselves. Realizing the risks, support and council are what we rely on and to have this offered as hope for a cure -I am all for it.

Posted by Anonymous on 3 July 2012

Back up the boat people.
First, the FDA HAS agreed to this exact protocol treatment plan for people with cancer. How do I know? I had it.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 in 1973. In 1995, I was diagnosed with stage IIIA breast cancer, the tumor presenting itself in a very short period of time (from nonpalpable to the size of a ping-pong ball in a little over a month). I received all the cancer treatments that were available at that time, including stem cell rescue - in much the same fashion as described in the article. At the time, I was the first Type 1 to go through it at the hospital where I was treated. At that time, I was using an insulin pump (have since returned to multiple daily injections).

Because of the aggressive nature of the cancer at diagnosis, I was only given a 40% chance of making it to the two year survival point.

That was almost SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO.

Have I had complications? Yes. Were they from the stem cell rescue? Possible but unknown. Why unknown? Because any or all of the chemo or radiation I received prior to the stem cell rescue procedure could have caused the complications I had. As could the now 39 years of diabetes. Would I do it again? What do you think?

Back to the original point. Each person has to determine what treatment they are going to take, if any, should a potential cure become available. And each time a protocol is offered to a patient, ALL *POTENTIAL* COMPLICATIONS MUST BE REVEALED AND REVIEWED WITH THE PATIENT. (Yes, I am a nurse, too.) Perhaps because I am on the cure side of cancer I feel this way, but I honestly would hope for a cure for diabetes sooner than cancer (personal opinion only).

Looking for a cure, however, means looking for a cause. Many people believe that diabetes is caused by an autoimmune response that triggers the body to destroy its own islet cells where insulin is produced. Both diseases are widely considered to develop following an autoimmune response (I know mine was - no only did I have unexplained hives, I'm the only one in our family with it and the only one with breast cancer too). If the successful treatment for SOME cancers includes stem cell rescue, then there is surely information to be gathered here that can be used to find a cure for IDDM (i.e. type 1).

If you compare this article to the one from May 17th (I may be a day off on the date, but it was during May), where strong antibiotic use following the complete suppression of the immune system appears to have eradicated IDDM in mice, then I would guess both sets of research are heading in the same direction. Godspeed.

Whether the cure will come from antibiotic or chemo use, only time and research will tell. And if we're REALLY lucky, maybe the source will come from something less harmful than chemo, but just as potent.

Bottom line, if we don't have hope to hang on to, we have NOTHING to hang on to....

Laura in VA

Posted by Anonymous on 17 July 2012

The FDA is also there to protect people with illnesses from themselves.

As a 30 year T1 there isn't much I wouldn't be willing to try but even the treatment above, I'd have to give serious thought to. That said, there are others that would jump in without a second thought and that's why we need the FDA.

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