Monday, October 15, 2007
Medical Reports: Diabetes
WSVN -- There's two new breakthroughs for diabetes . One could prevent people from ever getting the disease, and another could help patients already diagnosed.
Noel Wynn: "This body has to last and I am going to do everything I can to prolong my life."
Diabetes researchers right here in South Florida are working towards that goal.
At the University of Miami, Doctor Luca Inverardi's, goal is to help diabetics produce insulin on their own.
He is perfecting a procedure called an 'Islet Cell Transplant.'
Doctors transplant 'insulin-producing cells to replace those destroyed in patients with type one diabetes.
Dr. Luca Inverardi: "Patients will require a fraction of the insulin that they needed before the transplants."
He's invented this biomechanical mesh device which can be implanted into the patient full of islet cells.
It's safer than the old way of injecting the cells right into a patient's liver.
Dr. Luca Inverardi: "This could really represent a major advantage for patients."
Dr. Luca Inverardi: " I can see the layer right there."
Doctor Daniel Kaufman of UCLA has developed a vaccine he hopes will actually 'prevent' type one diabetes.
The vaccine slows down the attack on the immune system and saves cells that produce insulin in the pancreas.
It worked on mice, now the goal is to vaccinate humans.
Dr. Kaufman: "We think that the earlier that we can identify children that are at, are destined to develop diabetes, and you change their immune responses, that they'll be fine for the rest of their lives."
All hopeful advances for patients like Noel, who've learned to live with the disease but would love the day to come when they didn't have to.
The new Islet Cell Transplant device is still being tested on animals but should move into human trials at U.M. in the coming years. We'll keep you posted on any new developments.