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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Diabetes Excitement in Canada

What if healthy insulin producing cells of a pancreas were to be inserted in to a person with diabetes?

This is not the stuff of science fiction, but a reality in Mexico. The procedure has also been tried with success in Canada, but authorities are not satisfied with available safety information to allow such transplants to continue.

The Canadian refusal could be a temporary phenomenon, because other transplants, such as of entire kidneys and other organs have worked.

There are ethical issues about donations of organs and cells from other human beings, but xeno-transplants, or tissues from animals, is a possible answer.

Insulin producing pancreatic cells have been inserted in to human bodies, enabling artificial insulin injections to be reduced or even eliminated altogether.

Type 1 diabetes patients will be especially pleased with this development, for it holds hope for them that they might one day get a transplant to overcome their glucose metabolism deficiency.


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