The UCSF Pancreatic Islet Transplantation Program led by Andrew Posselt, MD, PhD, continues to be very active and, most importantly, very cutting edge. Not only does Dr. Posselt and his team efficiently and effectively harvest islets through their state-of-the-art islet isolation process, they are using new enzymes to ensure islet viability throughout the transplant process.
Also, the team is using a number of new drugs they believe will be more effective than other historical drugs in allowing them to conduct transplants with fewer islets, fewer side effects, and better long term results through the prevention of islet rejection. Eventually they hope to utilize islets made from stem cells, plus develop a protocol that requires minimal immunosuppression.
Fortunately, a large percentage of patients who undergo islet transplantation become insulin independent. One islet transplant recipient, Alison Wesley, tells her story in an article featured on the UCSF School of Medicine’s website. The story, “Frontiers of Clinical Research: Islet Transplantation,” highlights this exciting clinical research aimed to improve and save the lives of millions of patients with diabetes.