Transplantation Related to Diabetes

While there are a variety of methods to manage diabetes, the National Institutes of Health says the transplantation of the pancreas or insulin-producing beta cells found in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas offers the best hope for a cure for people with Type 1 diabetes. University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute is active in transplanting islets and whole pancreases into patients requiring kidney transplants as a result of their diabetes. A majority of these transplants completely corrected the patients’ insulin deficiency.

And the research goes on. In Pittsburgh and around the world, scientists are continuing to work to develop better transplantation methods, less harmful anti-rejection drugs and create artificial islet cells that secrete insulin when sugar levels rise in the blood.

(For Type II diabetes, the focus is on preventing the disease—through modified exercise and diet programs—in people identified as having a high-risk of developing the disorder.)