Cure For Type 1 Diabetes Found

Armen Hareyan's picture

New treatment gives hope of cure to type 1 diabetes patients. This innovative research is offered by Newcastle University team lead by Dr James Shaw.

Type 1 diabetes patients are unable to generate natural insulin hormone or can't properly use it. This disease occurs even among very young children, who don't yet have obesity, healthy lifestyle problems. These patients suffer from low blood-sugar levels - hypoglycaemia - and they have to take insulin injections daily to survive.

In UK there are about 250000 people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. All of them can't do without daily injections.


This new innovative treatment comes to cure patients by a 45 minute procedure called 'islet transplantation'. This treatment is especially good for those with heart disease, because these patients can't go through open surgery.

Previously, type 1 diabetes patients had to go through liver transplant surgery, but islet transplantation doesn't need it. Some cells from dead donor's pancreas are being injected into patient's liver. Livers start producing insulin normally and controlling blood sugar level. Treated patients can survive with a very small amount of insulin injection or even without it.

There are going to be six professional centers in UK offering islet transplantation. Initially, they are expected to treat about 20 patients annually, but later they can handle about 60 patients. 12 type 1 diabetes patients have been already offered the treatment thanks to Diabetes UK charities.

Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of the charity, said: "We are delighted that Diabetes UK-funded research has proved to the government what huge immediate and long-term potential islet cell transplantation has. The decision to fund this programme will be life-changing for some people with Type 1 diabetes who suffer from the most serious effects of hypoglycaemia."