Islet Transplants

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By: Elka Karl

A gene therapy technique could help islet transplants, but current anti-rejection drug therapy may hurt transplanted cells.

A University of Pittsburgh study found that using a growth factor in islets could greatly reduce the number of islets needed for transplants to reverse type 1 diabetes.

However, the study also indicates that current triple-drug therapy used in anti-rejection therapy after islet transplants can harm transplanted pancreatic rat islets. It may also induce diabetes in rats as shown in the control group receiving only the anti-rejection therapy.

“This study suggests that the current anti-rejection regimen might need to be further optimized or changed,” says senior study author Andrew Stewart, MD.

-Endocrinology, February 2004

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