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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stem cells may help type 1 diabetes patients start over

Could stem cell research lead to diabetes cure?

Adult stem cells from human bone marrow can mature into cells resembling islet cells when placed within pancreas tissue, according to research by Chu-Chih Shih, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. | @ltaLINK | @ltaSEARCH | @ltaSITE .........

A diagnosis of type 1 diabetes comes with a lifelong burden of new responsibilities: regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, careful adherence to strict diet and exercise regimens, and daily insulin injections. Photo: Chu-Chih Shih (by Markie Ramirez)

Researchers hope to ease the burden by developing new treatments for type 1 diabetes — treatments that might one day even cure the disease.

One promising area is stem cells. City of Hope researchers believe they may be able to engineer them into new cells that produce insulin. These new cells would replace islet cells, the insulin- producing cells in the pancreas that are destroyed in type 1 diabetes.

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