Breakthrough Treatment for Type I Diabetes - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/10/03

Breakthrough Treatment for Type I Diabetes

A Dallas hospital will soon become part of a potentially breakthrough treatment for Type I Diabetes. It's an incredible procedure called an islet cell transplant.

A pancreas is taken from an organ donor, and in a lab, insulin-producing islet cells are removed. Those tiny yet crucial cells are then transplanted into the bloodstream of a diabetic's liver and carried into the liver where they go to work. The transplant is experimental, but so far, successful.

Dr. Marlon Levy says that they report an instantaneous change in a patient treated with the procedure, from having to be insulin dependent to no longer having to inject themselves with insulin. Within an hour, you can see a drop in the blood sugar of the patients.

Dr. Levy says this is a quantam leap in the treatment of diabetes but it is not a cure because the transplant recipient will still need to take anti-rejection drugs for life. The hospital in Dallas is Baylor Medical Center and Dr. Levy is still looking for more people to join this study. Candidates must be adults with Type I diabetes, preferably for a long time now, but whose eyes, heart, kidney, and liver are still healthy.

Call 1-800-BAYLOR for more information or you can (click here).

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