Pig pancreas transplant may help cure diabetes

Beijing: Chinese researchers have successfully used pig's pancreas in transplant operations to treat three type-1 diabetic patients, a significant achievement in finding a cure to the chronic disease, a media report said on Friday.

Representational image.

Representational image.

The transplant programme was conducted in partnership with researchers from University of Sydney, Australia. The three operations were conducted between July 2013 and February 2016 at the Third Xiangya Hospital affiliated to Central South University in Hunan Province.

One patient's use of insulin has been reduced by 80.5 per cent, while for the other two it was reduced by 57 per cent and 56 per cent, said Wang Wei, a professor with the hospital.

The medium-term results were reliable, according to a review of the programme organised by the Hunan provincial health authorities.

The research is expected to help solve the shortage of organs for transplants, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires continuing medical care and patient self-management education to prevent acute complications and to reduce the risk of long-term complications.

Type 1 diabetes usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and was previously known as juvenile diabetes. Only 5 per cent of people have this form of the disease.

In type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin. It breaks down the sugars and starches into a simple sugar called glucose, which it uses for energy.

Insulin is a hormone that the body needs to get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, even young children can learn to manage their condition and live long, healthy lives.

Updated Date: Apr 19, 2016 15:38 PM

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