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J Clin Invest. 2004 Oct;114(7):877-83.

Challenges facing islet transplantation for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1Islet and Autoimmunity Branch, National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Islet transplantation represents a most impressive recent advance in the search for a type 1 diabetes mellitus cure. While several hundred patients have achieved at least temporary insulin independence after receiving the islet "mini-organs" (containing insulin-producing beta cells), very few patients remain insulin independent beyond 4 years after transplantation. In this review, we describe historic as well as technical details about the procedure and provide insight into clinical and basic research efforts to overcome existing hurdles for this promising therapy.

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