Actually there is a U.S. company doing this in a clinic outside the country. They are not doing this specifically for diabetes but they are doing it.
That's the problem with stem cells. While you may get it to work for one type of cell, you pretty much have to start from scratch for a new cell type. So if they are doing for something that is not diabetes, then it will not be that transferrable to diabetes, other than the general techniques of cell growth.
What I am referring to is Fetal Stem Cells which by all accounts can grow into any cell type.
I'm no expert, I'm just trying to hear from experts or someone that has experienced this first hand. I know this is a long shot but...
There are certain triggers required to take a fetal stem cell and turn it into a certain type of cell. So if you figure out how to take a FSC and turn it into a liver cell, that won't help you at all regarding how to turn it into an insulin producing cell or a cluster of cells known as the islets of langerhans. It will be a different chemical trigger and chemical process to turn on that particular cell type. And it is probably not just one chemical trigger, but a series of chemicals, in combination, that do this.
Just as an aside, I have a science degree in biology. While I am not an expert in this field, I know something about it as I have read articles and have also had a tour of the stem cell research center I mentioned earlier and had a chance to have a chat with the director.
Human Fetal Stem Cell Therapy is a medical treatment whereby human fetal stem cells are transplanted into a patient. These cellular building blocks that form the foundation of the blood, the immune, and the neurological systems are administered by means of a standard IV solution and subcutaneous injection. It is a painless procedure, which takes place in approximately one hour. There are no known side effects.
The fetal stem cells do not have antigenicity (a cellular fingerprint); therefore they can be given to anyone without rejection phenomena, thereby eliminating the use of immunosuppressive drugs along with their side effects.
According to a Georgetown University study, the fetal stem cell is 23 times more powerful and effective than the adult cell that is given in a normal bone marrow transplant. According to another study at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, it was found that the implant and growth potential of a fetal stem cell is 3000 times that of an adult stem cell.
FYI: this company charges $30,000 for this treatment and their clinic is in the Dominican Republic.
In another document they talk about success with fetal islet transplantation in diabetics and the improvement that were shown. What they donít say is how fetal islet transplantation relates to the IV treatment mentioned above. They say this study was done in Russia.
As anyone must know a cure is worth $30,000. Is this treatment worth that amount?
... As anyone must know a cure is worth $30,000. Is this treatment worth that amount?
The problem is that restoring lost beta cells does nothing to deal with what caused the diabetes in the first place. Insulin resistance for type 2 diabetics and an immune attack for type 1 diabetics. So it isn't a cure. The diabetes will come back again. I have typ1 diabetes. And until such time as they can protect the new islet cells from an autoimmune attack, I wouldn't be prepared to spend any money on it.
Type 1 since 1977. On Lantus, Novorapid and Actrapid.
Sorry, but there is still nothing in there that even remotely suggests that the fetal stem cell will grow the way it is supposed to. They use some nice buzz words and suggest that these cells will grow so much faster than regular bone marrow in a transplant situation. But there is still nothing to suggest how the fetal stem cells will know what to grow into.