Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart December 24, 2010 at 8:35 am

“THE world’s first xenotransplantation treatment – where animal cells are transplanted into humans – has been approved for sale in Russia.

The treatment, developed by Living Cell Technologies in New Zealand, is for type 1 diabetes. It consists of insulin-producing pig cells coated in seaweed, says Bob Elliott of LCT.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed. Insulin is vital in controlling blood glucose levels, so people who lack the cells need daily insulin injections.

However, injecting the wrong amount of insulin can cause blood glucose levels to swing dangerously, causing fainting, and cardiovascular and nervous effects. These can reduce a person’s life span, Elliott says.

LCT’s treatment involves surgically implanting the replacement cells into the pancreas. The “seaweed” coating is alginate, which prevents the immune system from attacking the foreign cells.

In Russian trials, eight people with type 1 diabetes received the treatment in June 2007, while continuing to have daily injections of insulin. After a year, six showed improved blood glucose control and were able to lower their daily dose of insulin. Two of them stopped injections entirely for eight months. One person left the trial and another showed no improvement, which LCT believes was due to problems inserting the cells into the pancreas.”

Read more at New Scientist (Thanks Shaun H)

December 24, 2010 at 9:41 am
Scott says:

Sounds good to me, anyone want to fund my Diabetes type 1 problem?
I will gladly take donations to be cured of this nasty disease!


December 24, 2010 at 1:04 pm
ReliegiousMarie says:

Utterly worrying somehow……

December 24, 2010 at 4:07 pm
roz says:

wsup wif these misleading headlines? that may be the first approved treatment, but it’s not the first transplant…this from the wikipedia…

Loma Linda University Medical Center made international news on October 26, 1984, when Dr. Leonard L Bailey transplanted a baboon heart into Baby Fae, an infant born with a severe heart defect known as left hypoplastic heart. Unfortunately, Baby Fae died a few weeks later.

– You’ve missed the word “approved” out. Otherwise it would simply be “first human-animal transplant”. These things are for sale, you can buy them, with money. I think that’s a little different to what you’re talking about. – Phillis

December 25, 2010 at 6:24 am
Marta Brebner says:

Wow! Was talking to a friend this week who does post-doctoral research on diabetes (type 2 mainly) but it gave me an understanding of the facts behind both types. This is huge! Thanks for posting this on twitter Mr Brown! And a very Merry Christmas to you too!

December 25, 2010 at 9:13 pm
Andy says:

i wish this was around 6 months ago, my dad died in october of a diabetic coma from type 1 diabetes at the age of 45…

December 27, 2010 at 2:39 am
Scott says:

People hark on about the dangers of Type 2 which is pretty much self inflicted. Us Type 1 people, have it so much worse.
Andy, I am very sorry for your loss. Especially for me, I live away from everyone and my fear is, I will not wake up one day after falling asleep. Living on a tropical island does have its drawbacks!


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