Stem Cells May Cure T1D

Medical device company Viacyte has developed a device called PEC-Direct that can protect stem cells to be able to live inside the body, produce insulin as needed and possibly cure type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Stem cells are placed into PEC-Direct and take three months to become functioning islet cells. Viacyte recently implanted the device into two patients with type 1 diabetes. Paul Laikind of Viacyte said if it works, we will call it a functional cure due to the fact that it doesn’t address the autoimmune cause of the disease.

I always get excited when I read about stem cells curing diabetes, or any disease for that matter. The only drawback is that patients would still need to take steroids or other immunosuppression drugs. I would take that trade off for now. Hopeful the scientists will discover a way to use PEC-Direct without immunosuppression.

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