500th Islet Cell Transplant in Edmonton
Dr. James Shapiro, Director of the Clinical Islet Transplant Program in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta and Lead of the CNTRP Ex Vivo Project, and his team recently performed its 500th islet cell transplant, which helps people with Type 1 diabetes control their blood glucose levels without daily insulin injections.
No other program in the world has accomplished anything of this magnitude and the Edmonton Islet Transplant Program are international leaders in the treatment of diabetes because of this program.
For the 500th transplant, Dr. Shapiro and his team collaborated with the University of Pittsburgh in a pilot clinical research trial, which involved transplanting the cells under the lining of the stomach rather than in the liver. The patient, an Edmonton man, was the first in the world to receive islets injected into the stomach; the new approach enables physicians to see and biopsy the cells following transplant.