Islet cells – which are responsible for producing insulin within the pancreas – can be transplanted to help type 1 diabetes patients. It is thought that transplanting these cells can establish glucose levels that are close to normal. The result could be a reduction of hypoglycemic events and the potential for no longer needing insulin therapy.
According to a clinical trial completed by the National Institutes of Health, about 88% of patients who received islet cell transplants showed significant improvement in condition management after a year. Just over half of the participants no longer needed insulin therapy. These findings indicate that islet transplantation can offer a potentially lifesaving option that may eliminate severe hypoglycemic events while promoting excellent blood sugar control.
These findings were published in Diabetes Care on April 18, 2016.