Video: Stem Cells & Diabetes

(Stem Cells News image)

Alan Lewis of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation distinguishes type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and continues to explain how stem cells are being used today to develop new treatments for type 1 diabetes (a.k.a. juvenile diabetes). Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) are being differentiated to the beta (insulin producing) cells that type 1 diabetics lack, and are being transplanted , in animal models. Since type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease, the transplanted cells must be protect from destruction by the immune system. Currently, researchers are working towards that goal with encapsulating technologies and a “gentle” immuno-modulation. In order to treat a diabetic patient, access to an unlimited number of cells is necessary. Alan compares embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, and iPS as source of cells. And finally, in a future outlook, Alan comments on the FDA’s concern for safety, the risk of creating a tumor, artificial pancreas (as an alternative approach), and cell therapy‘s potential to CURE diseases


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