Introduction

The incidence of diabetes in the U.S. is increasing with at least 1 million persons affected with type 1 disease.1 The life threatening complications2 are preventable by maintaining euglycemia according to the Diabetes Control and Complication Trial and its follow-up studies.3,4 Despite the development of improved means of glucose monitoring and insulin delivery, maintaining even near-normal glucose levels in most patients with diabetes is difficult and complicated by occasional severe hypoglycemic episodes. Developing a means of achieving insulin independence and good glycemic control early in the disease prior to the onset of complications would represent a major therapeutic advance in the treatment of this debilitating disease.

Pancreas transplantation is able to correct the metabolic abnormalities of diabetes. There is now great enthusiasm for developing islet transplantation as a less morbid and potentially more broadly applicable therapy. Small pilot studies have recently demonstrated the feasibility of islet transplantation to ameliorate type 1 diabetes in select patients. Future emphasis on large-scale application must confront the profound challenges of expanding the sources of insulin producing tissue and diminishing the need for chronic systemic immunosuppression. Current breakthroughs have emerged from persistent experimentation over the past 30 years to provide a solid foundation and clear vision on which the successes of tomorrow will be built.

Diabetes 2

Diabetes 2

Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...

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