Researchers have come up with a new procedure that creates a mini-pancreas, allowing type 1 diabetes patients to become insulin independent.
The University of Miami’s Diabetes Research Institute researchers have injected insulin-producing islet cells into a fatty area of the stomach cavity.
“In type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas have been mistakenly destroyed by the immune system, requiring patients to manage their blood sugar levels through a daily regimen of insulin therapy,” according to the University. “Islet transplantation has allowed many patients to live without the need for insulin injections after receiving a transplant of donor cells. Some patients who have received islet transplants at the DRI have been insulin independent for more than a decade.”
The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2017.
Diabetes currently affects over 30 million people in the U.S. alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 80 million people fit the conditions required for ‘prediabetes’ and will likely develop the disease in the future.