As early as this summer, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will begin recruiting candidates with type 1 diabetes for a new islet and kidney transplant study.
Organizations including Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Naval Medical Research Center, the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) of Miami, the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the NIH have already agreed to collaborate in the $5-million-per-year program.
The trials will be conducted at the newly renovated Warren Magnuson Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and will test new treatments, including special proteins called monoclonal antibodies, which could block organ rejection in islet and kidney transplants. According to the NIH Backgrounder, the therapies tested could potentially make transplantation of islets more widely available for patients with type 1 diabetes, as well as eliminate the need for antirejection drugs now required to sustain transplantations.
The clinical research protocols will be developed by a new Navy-NIDDK Transplantation and Autoimmunity Research Branch. The DRI of Miami will help facilitate the transfer of research advances to pilot clinical trials in patients with type 1 diabetes.
For more information on the clinical trials, check out the NIDDK Web site at www.niddk.nih.gov.