Stem Cells for Type 1 Diabetes Could Be Medical Breakthrough
the MPR take:
A procedure to turn stem cells into beta cells could be a significant step in advancing treatment for Type 1 diabetes, according to a new study published in the journal Cell. Douglas Melton from Harvard University and colleagues developed a means to make hundreds of millions of pancreatic beta cells in vitro; the cells function similarly to those of beta cells in healthy individuals. In tests on diabetic mice, the beta cells were able to cure diabetes in less than 10 days. The next step is to transfer the protocol to what is known as good manufacturing practice (GMP) for FDA compliance, which could take up to a year, reports Dr. Melton. Following that, the research team will need to select the method for Type 1 diabetes that will allow them to insert the cells into patients while also protecting them from an immune attack. One potential method is an encapsulation device the size of a credit card, which has been developed at the lab of Daniel Anderson at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
IN WHAT MAY LEAD to the biggest breakthrough in the treatment of Type 1 diabetes in three decades, Xander University Professor Douglas Melton and colleagues have figured out the complex series of steps necessary to turn stem cells into beta cells.