Chinese Scientists Reveal Potential Diabetes Cure With Innovative Cell Therapy

The treatment proved remarkably successful. Within eleven weeks, the patient no longer required external insulin.

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The patient became insulin-independent within eleven weeks of the transplant.

In a promising development for millions with diabetes, researchers in China have reported a potential cure using cell therapy. The study, published in the journal Cell Discovery, details the successful treatment of a 59-year-old man with type 2 diabetes.

The patient, who had been battling the disease for 25 years and relied on daily insulin injections, underwent an innovative cell transplant in July 2021. The procedure involved creating lab-grown replicas of insulin-producing islet cells, found in the pancreas, which were then transplanted into the patient.

According to a report in the South China Morning Post, the treatment proved remarkably successful. Within eleven weeks, the patient no longer required external insulin. Over the following year, he gradually reduced and eventually stopped taking oral medication for blood sugar control. Follow-up examinations confirmed a restored function in the patient's pancreatic islet cells, allowing him to remain medication-free for over 33 months.

While this is a single-patient case study, experts view it as a significant breakthrough in cell therapy for diabetes. Professor Timothy Kieffer, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, called it "an important advance in the field." However, further large-scale trials are needed to confirm the efficacy and safety of this approach before it can be widely used as a treatment.

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This news brings hope to millions of people with diabetes. More research is needed, but this successful cell therapy trial could lead to a future without the disease.

Diabetes around the world

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) paints a concerning picture: By 2021, an estimated 537 million adults aged 20-79 already had diabetes. This number is projected to explode, reaching 643 million by 2030 and a staggering 783 million by 2045. This translates to 1 in 8 adults globally projected to have diabetes by 2045, a 46% increase.

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Even more alarming is the unequal distribution of this burden. A staggering 3 out of 4 adults with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries. These statistics highlight the growing global challenge of diabetes and the urgent need for effective prevention and management strategies, particularly focused on supporting developing nations.

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