MIAMI, Sept. 10 (UPI) — The first patient to receive therapeutic delivery of islet cells in a new diabetes study no longer needs insulin therapy to control type 1 diabetes, according to doctors at the University of Miami’s Diabetes Research Institute.
The patient, Wendy Peacock, 43, has been giving herself insulin injections to control diabetes since she was diagnosed with the condition at age 17. Since she had the minimally-invasive procedure on August 18, Peacock has been off insulin, because her body is producing it naturally, and she no longer has the dietary restrictions that accompany type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is caused by inadvertent destruction of insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas by the immune system. While previous experimental treatments that involved the replacement of these cells has allowed patients to live without the need for insulin-replacement therapy for up to a decade, the goal is for better delivery of the cells to make the surgical treatment permanent — effectively curing the condition.