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results of Islet Cell Transplant
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results of Islet Cell Transplant

How successful are current islet cell transplants in 2006? And which hospitals have the best track record and patient support?  Should a 53 yr old male wait for a better treatment after 35 years of diabetes or try the islet transplant?  What are the long term results of the transplant?  How did the anti-rejection drugs affect your life and what are their effects and complications after a few years?
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Hi Kathy and Mike,

I am a volunteer on this forum and have been living with Type I diabetes for 12 years now. Your question is very complex and since I have not undergone an islet cell transplant myself I can't speak from experience. However I will share with you a few resources I found while doing some research on the subject, and hopefully someone on this forum can give you a first-hand account of undergoing this transplant (hopefully it's a positive experience).

First, there is the Mayo clinic website: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/islet-cell-transplant/DA00046, which contains lots of valuble informtion about islet cell transplants, such as quoted below:  

"A recent National Institutes of Health report concluded that 60% of those who had islet cell transplants--the cells produce insulin--didn't need painful daily insulin shots a year later...But they're not for everyone, yet. 'Islet transplants are still very experimental'and are performed as research only. You have to meet certain criteria to be accepted...Transplants start losing function after 1 year. And researchers are still puzzling out the reasons."

I also found a government website regarding current clinical trials: http://clinicaltrials.gov/search/intervention=islet+cell+transplantation&recruiting=true

There's also an article published in the JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, 10/27/2004, Vol. 292 Issue 16, p1946-1946: Title: Islet Transplant Results; Author: Tracy Hampton. You may be able to find this article in your library or through free online databases, such as MEDLINE (Pubmed.gov), a great resources for researching authoritative information about medical issues. Below is the article's abstract:

"Discusses the publication of the first annual report of the Collaborative Islet Transplant Registry, which include results from islet cell transplants at centers in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Analysis of the report; Adverse events that occurred as a result of the transplantation."

This may give you the statistics you're looking for. Of course, word of mouth is always a good source as well, which is why I believe you've posted your question on this forum.
I can't speak from experience but I hope someone out there can and will provide you with more information.

Good luck to you!
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