Posted on Jan 26, 2012, 6 a.m.
Study reports that patients with Type-1 diabetes responded to stem cell therapy with improved fasting C-peptide levels and other disease markers.
Among patients with Type-1 diabetes, therapy using the patient's lymphocytes passed through a device with cord blood stem cells “re-educated” the patient's cells, suggesting a potential safe, lasting treatment for the disease. Yong Zhao, from University of Illinois/Chicago (Illinois, USA), and colleagues completed a study involving 15 subjects, 12 of whom received the treatment, finding that lymphocytes "re-educated" by passage with cord blood stem cells were effective in treating patients with type 1 diabetes with and without residual beta cell function. As well, both insulin requirements and glycated hemoglobin levels decreased significantly in the treated patients with effects lasting out to 40 weeks. Submitting that: “Stem Cell Educator therapy is safe, and in individuals with moderate or severe [Type-1 diabetes], a single treatment produces lasting improvement in metabolic control,” the study authors conclude that: “Initial results indicate Stem Cell Educator therapy reverses autoimmunity and promotes regeneration of islet beta cells.”
Yong Zhao, Zhaoshun Jiang, Tingbao Zhao, Mingliang Ye, Chengjin Hu, Zhaohui Yin, et al. “Reversal of type 1 diabetes via islet beta cell regeneration following immune modulation by cord blood-derived multipotent stem cells.” BMC Medicine 2012, 10:3, 10 January 2012.