In the 1990s, the first islet transplantation took place and appeared to hold promise for treating diabetes. In this process, cells from an organ donor’s pancreas are taken and transplanted into the patient. Unfortunately, over the years it became apparent that there were too few donors for the treatment to be feasible. This dilemma, along with the lack of treatment standardization, made the therapy an unlikely option.
Recently, however, an Israeli company has begun using regenerative medicine to differentiate stem cells, potentially unlocking the next diabetes therapy by creating functional pancreatic islet cells. The cells produce and secrete insulin but are protected against immune system attacks.
While diabetes can be managed through medications, successfully balancing factors such as diet, exercise, and insulin can be challenging. This is especially true for children with type 1 diabetes. The goal of the stem cell treatments is to simplify diabetes management by providing the patient with functioning cells.
In addition to managing diabetes, stem cell treatment could also help manage ALS. Mesenchymal stem cells can target specific tissues to promote healing and slow the progression of debilitating conditions. Currently, the team is working on technology to purify non-relevant cells, insuring only the proper cells are delivered to patients.
The Israeli researchers’ efforts are a part of many regenerative medicine studies holding promise to more stem cell applications on the horizon. Currently, there are more than 5,000 clinical trials involving stem cells for conditions ranging from brain and nervous system issues to bone and muscle problems, among others. This area of regenerative medicine is of great interest to researchers and is likely to be at the forefront of medical treatments in the future.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions. Click here to learn more.