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islet cells
can a living relative donate islet cells ?
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i don't think it has been done yet but they are looking at stem cells to make new islet cells but for type 1's this would involve medication so the same autoimmune system won't destroy them they way they did initially. Bret
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This same question came in once before, and I was the person who was assigned to answer it. After doing some research, I discovered that at this point, there are NO programs in place that use living donors for islet cells. Furthermore, this treatment is not considered mainstream enough to be available to any except those whose lives are in danger from complications or other problems. The problem is that the very autoimmune system disorder that causes the body to attack and kill off the islet cells in the first place often causes transplanted cells to fail. So the actual permanent cure rate is somewhat "ifffy" and the side affects of the drugs the person must be on after transplanting can be bad enough to negate the benefit of transplantation. This treatment is still considered somewhat experimental and is not seen as a true cure, for it does not solve the autoimmune problem that is the cause of type 1 diabetes. For some, the transplanted cells work and last for years, while others find that the new cells only last  a year or less.
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