Re: Hope for a cure for Type 2 and maybe type 1?
There ARE a couple of problems with this though... like they said, in T1s, there's nothing stopping the immune system from just destroying these beta cells again. Also, are these functioning exactly like a non-diabetic's beta cells, or are they just constantly pumping out insulin no matter what? That could be a huge issue... you'd basically be creating an insulinoma...
The article doesn't say, are these cells cultured, or from the patient, because then you have the same issue of islet cell transplant basically... you'd be trading insulin for a handful of immune suppressing drugs each day. I have a T1 doctor who had a pancreas transplant. It's working really well and she has been insulin free for over a year and a half, but she still MUST test 4x each day, and she knows its just a brief reprieve from insulin shots. Transplants only have a life span of 5-10 years, and given the autoimmunity issue of T1s, the pancreas just gets attacked again.
As for the cells being used for T2s, doesn't it all come down to the same thing... you're just giving T2s back the ability to produce insulin, but for how long??? T2 can be controlled for a while with just exercise and such, but most people end up needing insulin anyhow... what's stopping that from happening with the new cells. I guess if you just keep creating more beta cells you could stave off needing insulin indefinitely, but it would be SO expensive and impractical.