Giant Breakthrough in Type 1 Diabetes Research
Diabetes Ireland is delighted to hear of the Harvard success and congratulate Professor Melton and colleagues on figuring out the complex series of steps necessary to turn stem cells into beta cells.
Hopefully, they can negotiate the regulations for mass production so that an abundant supply of beta cells is available an new and innovative methods will be developed to cure/treat Type 1 diabetes.
Type I diabetes is an autoimmune condition whereby the body kills off its own beta (insulin producing) cells resulting in the need for daily insulin administration through the skin.
Replacing beta cells in the first step towards a cure, but the replaced beta cells need to be protected from the body’s autoimmune response. This means protecting them in a coating or taking drugs to prevent the response (possible worse side effects than diabetes).
While excited about this major step towards a cure, it may be many years before this is widely available. Other cure options on the horizon include technology cures which may be less invasive.
So for people with Type 1 diabetes, there is hope of seeing a cure during your lifetime and therefore, ensure you stay healthy so that when available you can avail of it.
Dr Anna Clarke,
Health Promotion Manager, Diabetes Ireland
Professor Melton’s research project explained
Our research partners in the UK, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), have been heavily involved with this project. So what is it?
A new method for converting stem cells to beta cells could speed encapsulated cell replacement product development and research to cure type Continue reading