What if I do not meet the criteria now?
We have now proven that islet transplantation is an effective option for treating some people with very severe type 1 diabetes. The next challenge is to improve our supply of islet tissue and to improve both long term outcomes and safety. As the procedure becomes safer and more effective, the treatment will be suitable for more people. You may be a candidate in the future.
Are there enough donors?
With the organ donation rates currently low, there are not enough pancreases to go round and this treatment is available to only a very few patients. We need to improve organ donation rates and look to alternative sources of islet tissue.
Are you doing research?
We need to improve the function and viability of the islet tissue we transplant and to do that we need to gather more information. Our centre is continually looking at new ways to transplant islets. These new initiatives involve changes to immunosuppression and islet isolation techniques.
We are also participating with an international consortium seeking to enhance islet transplantation.
Lifelong immunosuppressive drugs have side effects. More information is needed to be able to do these transplants without medications and to develop medications with fewer side effects. With all of this information, it is hoped that we may learn how to prevent future generations from getting this devastating disease.
All of our participants have and continue to make an important contribution to the care of future people with diabetes as they help us learn how to refine and improve our current islet transplant procedures
Copyright 2009 Clinical Islet Transplant Program