Latest News About Diabetes Type 1 Cure. Last week, ViaCyte, a firm specializing in regenerative medicine, reported a successful trial in two patients with type 1 diabetes, the first to receive a new islet cell replacement therapy that involves the implantation of cells generated from embryonic stem cells, to control their condition.
About 10 percent of the 422 million people who have diabetes worldwide have type 1 diabetes. Being an autoimmune disease, it is caused by the attack that pancreatic insulin-producing cells receive from the immune system, deregulated.
Of course, the definitive cure for this type of disorder would address the aim of the patient’s immune system, so that it stops affecting the performance of pancreatic cells. For this reason, the developers of the therapy consider that this cure is “functional”: it does not attack the underlying problem but it solves the serious consequence in health. When blood sugar levels rise, the implants will release insulin to restore them to normal.
The introduction of these cells into the body is done from a subcutaneously implanted device, the size of a credit card, which contains cells derived from stem cells that can mature inside the body to fulfill the functions indicated, releasing insulin when the cells are elevated. blood sugar levels.
Once implanted, the pores in the outer tissue of the device will allow the blood vessels to send blood inside, mixing these cells with the progenitors. Once these cells have matured, after three months, they will be able to release insulin in case they detect unusual levels of sugar in the blood.
Even so, it would be necessary to take immunosuppressants to prevent natural antibodies from destroying the new cells. However, patients would be freed from constantly checking their blood sugar levels and injecting insulin.
The embryonic stem cells from which the progenitor cells mature come from an early stage replacement embryo, produced and donated as part of an in vitro fertilization therapy. To the extent that they can be multiplied in unlimited quantities, these patients could be treated with type 1 diabetes.
More trials will be necessary for the adoption of this technique to become widespread. Meanwhile, the fight against this disorder is fought from different fronts. After more than 20 years of research, a prototype vaccine that could prevent type 1 diabetes will begin clinical trials in 2018.