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Brazil/US Study Uses Stem Cells to Help Diabetics Do Without Insulin


Insulin An international team of researchers has used the stem cells taken from the blood of diabetic patients to enable them to eliminate the need for insulin medication. The scientists say the research has the potential to cure Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, which afflicts millions of people who have to have daily shots of insulin.

So-called juvenile diabetes makes up five to 10 percent of all cases of diabetes. It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the pancreas, the organ that makes insulin-producing cells that regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.

When the pancreas is not working properly and it fails to control blood sugar levels, there can be serious complications later in life, such as blindness and kidney failure.

By the time most Type 1 diabetics are diagnosed, experts say half or more of their insulin-producing cells have been destroyed.

U.S. and Brazilian researchers hoping to salvage the surviving cell mass conducted a study in which they used high doses of drugs to suppress the immune system of 15 patients and then infused them with the stem cells taken from their blood.

The goal was to reprogram the faulty immune system to halt its attack.

Study co-author Richard Burt of Northwestern University in Chicago says, as of February, one patient has been completely insulin free for 35 months, four for at least 21 months and seven for at least six months. Two patients responded late and were insulin-free for one and five months.

Burt says the results are remarkable.

"This is the first time in the history of diabetes that patients have gone an interval, an interval now up to three years, and perhaps longer – only time will tell – requiring no treatment, no insulin, no immune suppression, no medications at all," said Richard Burt.

The study was conducted in Brazil and the results are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Kim is a teenager who has juvenile diabetes.

"I have to think about it like 24/7, all the time, like when I'm going to eat next, where I'm going, and if I have to bring a test kit, and how much insulin I have to give myself and everything," said Kim.

Kim says she wishes she could find out what it is like not to have diabetes.

Even though it was a small study, observers say the research is likely to be the first of many efforts now to develop a therapy to free diabetics from the need for insulin shots.



  • Show Comments (9)

  • her mommy

    How did this turn into a political bash? I want to know what people think about a cure that could affect my little girl’s future – does any one else have anything to say relative to the article at hand?

  • ch.c.

    Tunisia having clients from the EU and Thailand having Chinese, Japanese and most Asians countries clients EU and Eastern Europe clients !!!!!!

  • ch.c.

    again….to EuroBoy…. cheater !!!!!
    Ohhhhhh…and if Brazil is so much more advanced than the USA….could you pleassssssse tell us…..why the Brazilian Vice President
    Alencar….ALWAYS went to the USA for his several heart surgeries ?????????

    In my view foreigners go the Brazil when they want larger plaStic nipples, butt or facial surgeries…BUT NOT health surgeries !!!!!!!
    Or if they want to lose weight with a “pump” for fats !!!!! Smile
    Quite a difference between well being surgeries and healthcare !!!!!!
    Same for dental care !


    Again….quite a difference ! But Brazil is not alone to do that. Tunisia and Thailand do at least as many similar surgeries to foreigners as Brazil does !!!! tUNISIA
    And the question is WHO will you sue…when there is a problem ! And will these surgeons offer a trip back to their countries with a new surgery……FREE OF CHARGES !!!!!! Let me have my doubts against both Brazil, Thailand and Tunisia !!!!

  • ch.c.

    continued…for EuroBoy….cheater !
    Ohhhhhhh….and please name a few large Brazilian Drugs Companies !!!!!

    If they are as good and so much advanced as you pretend, no doubt that they are :
    – well known
    – have large revenues
    – export billions of US$
    – have large capitalization
    – have known drugs sold worldwide that you can probably tell us….a little bit !
    – and at what stock exchange are these companies listed !!!!!!!!

    Hopefully you will answer !!!!!!


  • ch.c.

    To EuroBoy….cheater !!!!!!!!
    I dont really know if you are a EuroBoy or only a EuroJunkie.
    What is certain if you know Europe is that ALL large drugs companies are owned by its shareholders and not by governments !!!!!
    They are also NOT financed by the governments either !

    and to Roberrrt : hopefully you will decide to NOT DUPLICATE THE BRAZILIANS POLITICIANS.

    That would be good for your health, wealth….and economic development….finally !!!!!!

  • bo

    you must have me confused with a brazilian citizen, I’m quite literate! And please, do you want to see the monies invested by the U.S. and U.S. companies in regards to scientific research??? There isn’t another country on planet earth that comes close.

  • Roberrrrrt

    To little BO-SHITTER
    Bo, stem cell research in the US came to a halt since the Bush Administration/Kingdom came to power. Yesss the US lags behind the world thanks to religious idiots like you!!! πŸ˜‰ IsnÀ’€ℒt it time for you to start reading before you speak??? Ohhh I forgot…you can’t read!

  • EuroBoy

    Well… I can tell you for granted that brazillian medicine is far superior to the place i live in Europe. Don’t forget brazillian medicine is private funded. You know.. in the last few years there is a rush of people from the so-called 1st world travelling to Brazil for cheaper medical care. πŸ˜›

  • bo

    The U.S. and Brazil finding a cure. We all know what a haven for scientific research brazil is. πŸ˜‰

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