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 STEM CELLS FOR DIABETES

ANCHOR LEAD:   HOW FAR SHOULD PEOPLE GO TO TREAT TYPE ONE DIABETES?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS.

A risky procedure involving immune system destruction and reconstitution has been used to treat type one diabetes in several patients and was reported in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.  Does the success of the procedure suggest it should be used more widely?  Christopher Saudek, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, comments. 

SAUDEK:  It’s a drastic procedure, whether it’s to treat a drastic disease is a matter of opinion.  I think that I would not for a minute suggest using this now.  I think if you could come up with a way to eliminate the specific immune problem that’s going on in type I diabetes that would be the way to go, not to eliminate the entire bone marrow but to just target the cells that were damaging the pancreas, that would be the way to go.   :25

Similar procedures are used to treat some types of cancer, but are associated with considerable infection risk and sometimes death.  I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.  

 


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