Stem Cell Therapy and Diabetes
Written by Mike Byrom – Chief Science Officer
Like it or not, we all live on sugar! I am not talking about that chocolate cheesecake you buy at the store but the kind your body makes which is called glucose. Without glucose (also known as blood sugar) none of us would be around for very long because this is the main source of energy your brain and cells use.
The liver is responsible for producing glucose and releasing it into the blood stream. Your body then needs to deliver that glucose to your cells and it does this by using a hormone called insulin. Insulin is produced by special cells called beta-cells that cluster together into groups called islets of Langerhans inside the pancreas. If your body is unable to deliver this glucose to your cells, then the disease diabetes mellitus develops.
There are 2 main types of diabetes which are simply called type 1 and type 2.
In type 1 diabetes your body attacks itself and destroys your own beta-cells. This means that your body can’t make insulin and therefore is unable to deliver glucose to your cells.
(90% of all cases) In type 2 diabetes your body produces insulin normally however your cells become resistant to it. There fore your body is unable to deliver glucose to your cells
In both types there is an excess amount of blood sugar although for different reasons. This leads to many symptoms and some very serious complications. The most common symptoms are extreme fatigue, excessive thirst, increased urination, slow healing wounds and blurred vision but not everyone experiences the same symptoms. Without treatment and with long term elevation of blood sugar level some very serious and life-threatening complications develop.
Complications of Diabetes
Diabetes can lead to number of health complications:
- Heart Attacks
- Peripheral Artery Disease
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Diabetic Foot
- Diabetic Nephropathy
- Peripheral Neuropathy
Stem Cell Therapy for Diabetes
With such a large and increasing portion of the world population affected by this disease there has been a significant amount of resources devoted to its treatment. While treatment can control the symptoms and usually avoid the associated serious complications there is currently no cure for diabetes.
The overwhelming amount of success in treating animal models of diabetes with Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s) has led to a significant number of human clinical trials to do the same. There are 2 main ways this is happening. The first way is that MSC’s are being evaluated for their safety and usefulness in directly treating the condition of diabetes. The second way is that MSC’s are being evaluated for their safety and usefulness in treating the complications of diabetes such as diabetic ulcer. I will only provide information on the first method and save the second method for a future update.
In a recent peer reviewed publication (reference #7) they outlined 15 separate human clinical trials that were conducted to treat diabetes using MSC’s that encompassed 457 patients. Every single study found MSC’s to be safe for use, with no severe or adverse reactions reported and effective for use, with patients showing measurable clinical benefit. The studies ranged from 3 months to 4 years in duration.
The US-FDA is currently tracking 21 clinical trials to treat diabetes using MSC’s and those studies encompass 926 patients. The studies are ongoing, so no results are available yet. (reference #6).
In addition to the numerous clinical trials listed above there are many people that choose to have stem cell therapy immediately and not wait on regulatory approval. This generally requires that they travel to another country that allows for these procedures.
Celeste tells her personal story of receiving stem cell therapy for diabetes:
Oswald tells his personal story of receiving stem cell therapy for his diabetes:
Kim tells her story along with interviews. 3 years without medication at the time of the video: