Chinese doctors say they’ve CURED diabetes in man, 59, using stem cell therapy in a world-first

In a groundbreaking medical achievement, Chinese scientists have successfully cured a patient’s diabetes using an innovative cell therapy. This pioneering treatment, developed by a team from Shanghai Changzheng Hospital, the Centre for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Renji Hospital, was published in the journal Cell Discovery on April 30.

As per a South China Morning Post report, the patient received the cell transplant in July 2021. Remarkably, just eleven weeks later, he was no longer dependent on external insulin, and over the following year, he gradually reduced and then completely stopped taking oral medication to control his blood sugar levels. “Follow-up examinations showed that the patient’s pancreatic islet function was effectively restored,” explained Yin, one of the lead researchers. The patient has now been insulin-free for 33 months.

This breakthrough represents a significant advancement in the field of cell therapy for diabetes. Timothy Kieffer, a professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences at the University of British Columbia, praised the study, stating, “I think this study represents an important advance in the field of cell therapy for diabetes.”

Diabetes, a chronic condition affecting the body’s ability to convert food into energy, can lead to severe complications such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease if not properly managed. Traditional treatments often involve insulin injections and constant monitoring, posing a significant burden on patients.

The new therapy developed by the Chinese team involved programming the patient’s own peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These cells were transformed into “seed cells” and used to recreate pancreatic islet tissue in an artificial environment. This innovative approach harnesses the body’s regenerative capabilities, a burgeoning field known as regenerative medicine, the SCMP report said.

“Our technology has matured and it has pushed boundaries in the field of regenerative medicine for the treatment of diabetes,” said Yin.

China, with the highest number of diabetes patients globally, faces a substantial healthcare burden. According to the International Diabetes Federation, there are 140 million people with diabetes in China, 40 million of whom depend on lifelong insulin injections. This new cell therapy could potentially alleviate this burden significantly.

Kieffer noted that if this cell therapy approach proves effective in broader studies, “it can free patients from the burden of chronic medications, improve health and quality of life, and reduce healthcare expenditures.” However, he emphasized the need for further studies involving more patients to validate these findings.


The Times Of India

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