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Potential Cure for Diabetes Using Adult Stem Cells Found

Medical News Today, February 7, 2007

Dr. Banting and Dr. Best discovered insulin in 1929, but according to several American diabeteologists and researchers, this could be the most significant step towards a cure for diabetes since that time.

Type-2 diabetes afflicts 92% of the total number of diabetics worldwide. And more than 80% of patients could be improved or even cured with this treatment.

A team of researchers in Argentina demonstrated that stem cells can effectively fight and potentially cure diabetes. The levels of “C Peptide” increased and the production of endogenous insulin improved in patients. And a decrease of blood glucose levels and glycated hemoglobin levels occurred faster than with other treatments.

The researchers who were part of the non-profit organization called the 'Don Roberto Fernandez Via Foundation' (San Nicolas- Buenos Aires, Argentina), used autologous bone marrow cells and transplanted them directly into the pancreas of type 2 diabetes patients. Remarkably, 84% of the patients that were treated, were able to completely discontinue use of any insulin or drugs formulated to stimulate the production of insulin following the procedure.

The study was carried out in San Nicolas Clinic, San Nicolas, Argentina.

Throughout the entire process of extraction, cellular implantation, and post-treatment monitoring, there were no complications whatsoever. This established the safety of the procedure.

The dramatic improvement of the diabetes patients can most likely be contributed to the implanted autologous stem cells. The cells were able to regenerate the destroyed beta cells in the Islets of Langerhans within the pancreas. Insulin was then produced by the newly formed beta cells.

Named “Te-Cel-Di-Ar” (Terapia Celular Diabetes Argentina), the study was part of an Argentinean protocol to help improve the condition of those suffering from diabetes using autologous stem cells. 16 type 2 diabetes patients were involved with the study.

The results were presented at the 45th annual meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology. The study has also been published in the Scientific Abstracts Journal of the American Society of Cell Biology. The research team was led by Professor Roberto Fernandez Via MD and Professor Jorge Saslavsky MD. Other members of the team included Drs. Oscar Ferreyra, Angelina Classen, Liliana Camozzi, Oberdan Andrin, Francisco Vrsalovic, Janaina Ferreira, and Federico Foressi.

The Buenos Aires Health Ministry had knowledge of the study and it was approved by the Internal and External Ethics and Science Committees. Mrs. Sonia Cooper, who is the President of the non-profit Childhood Diabetes Foundation in Colorado, USA, partially funded the study with donations. More than thirty international and national consultants were involved with the study as well.

The University of Gainesville in Florida collaborated with the clinic in Argentina. And the research was supervised by Professor Bernat Sorias of the University of Seville in Spain after he was given a special invitation. Professor Sorias is currently the president of the Cellular Therapy European Society.

Dr. Roberto Fernandez Via and his team created the implant procedure exclusively. Using local anesthesia, the procedure utilizes a micro puncture in the femoral artery in the inguinal zone to directly apply stem cells into the patient’s pancreas.


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