Pancreatic Islet Cell Transplant for Treatment of Diabetes

Paolo Fiorina, Antonio Secchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Islet cell transplantation recently has emerged as one the most promising therapeutic approaches to improving glycometabolic control in type 1 diabetic patients, and, in many cases, to obtaining insulin independence. Islet cell transplantation requires a relatively short hospital stay and has the advantage of being a relatively noninvasive procedure. The rate of insulin independence 1 year after islet cell transplantation has improved significantly in recent years (60% at 1 year after transplantation compared to the 15% in the past years). Data from a recent international trial confirmed that islet cell transplantation potentially can be a cure for type 1 diabetes. Recent data indicate that insulin independence after islet cell transplantation is associated with an improvement in glucose metabolism and quality of life and with a reduction in hypoglycemic episodes. Islet cell transplantation is still in its initial stages, and many obstacles still need to be overcome. Once clinical islet transplantation has been established, this treatment could be offered to diabetic patients long before the onset of diabetic complications or to patients with life-threatening hypoglycemic unawareness and brittle diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1013
Number of pages15
JournalEndocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry


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