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Stem Cell Therapy to Cure Type 1 Diabetes: From Hype to Hope *

Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) is a chronic, multifactorial autoimmune disease that involves the progressive destruction of pancreatic β-cells, ultimately resulting in the loss of insulin production and secretion. The goal of clinical intervention is to prevent or arrest the onset and progression of autoimmunity, reverse β-cell destruction, and restore glycometabolic and immune homeostasis. Despite promising outcomes observed with islet transplantation and advancements in immunomodulatory therapies, the need for an effective cell replacement strategy for curing T1D still persists. Stem cell therapy offers a solution to the cited challenges of islet transplantation. While the regenerative potential of stem cells can be harnessed to make available a self-replenishing supply of glucose-responsive insulin-producing cells, their immunomodulatory properties may potentially be used to prevent, arrest, or reverse autoimmunity, ameliorate innate/alloimmune graft rejection, and prevent recurrence of the disease. Herein, we discuss the therapeutic potential of stem cells derived from a variety of sources for the cure of T1D, for example, embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, bone marrow-derived hematopoietic stem cells, and multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells derived from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, and adipose tissue. The benefits of combinatorial approaches designed to ensure the successful clinical translation of stem cell therapeutic strategies, such as approaches combining effective stem cell strategies with islet transplantation, immunomodulatory drug regimens, and/or novel bioengineering techniques, are also discussed. To conclude, the application of stem cell therapy in the cure for T1D appears extremely promising.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 10-22-2015
Authors: Preeti Chhabra, Kenneth Brayman, Department of Surgery, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.
Source: PubMed