Health Watch - Diabetes: Experimental Treatment

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes, occurs when an autoimmune process destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. People with this form of diabetes need frequent injections of insulin to control their blood sugar levels. There’s no known cure, but doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center are part of a national trial to test a new treatment.

The clinical trial will test a stem cell product in conjunction with insulin on patients who have recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The stem cells, which come from adult bone marrow, home in on and repair damaged tissue when they’re injected. Doctors hope the stem cells will stabilize the pancreatic cells so they will continue producing insulin. Dr. Philip Raskin, a UT Southwestern diabetes expert, says this won’t be a cure for diabetes if it works, but it may make it easier to manage the disease.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in endocrinology.


July 2009

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