Looking back: Celebrating 10 years of islet cell transplantation
Ten years ago, the University of Minnesota performed its first successful islet cell transplantation. Islet cells, which are located in the pancreas, are the body’s only cells that produce insulin. The body mistakenly destroys them during the onset of diabetes. An islet cell transplantation can free people with type 1 diabetes of insulin injections.
Since that first transplant, U of M doctors have performed dozens of islet transplantations and more than 90 percent of those patients are insulin independent – cementing the procedure as a clinical reality, not just a topic for experimental research.
So what are the setbacks? And if islet transplantation is so successful why isn’t everyone with diabetes receiving the procedure? In this podcast episode of Health Talk and You, we aim to answer those questions as well as look back over the last 10 years, explore recent developments/advancements with islet transplantation and discuss where the therapy might be in another 10 years.
Our guest is Bernhard Hering, M.D., director of the Schultze Diabetes Institute and a pioneer in islet transplantation, who believes the therapy will one day be the standard of care for diabetes patients.
-- Nick Hanson