Stem cell cure for diabetes: a reality?

Stem cell cure for diabetes: a reality?


Stem cell therapy helps overcome dependence on insulin and other conventional drugs

Diabetes is characterized by irreversible complete or partial pancreatic β cell damage. Diabetes cannot be cured but managed by insulins and oral medications. With recent advances in stem cell therapy, it may be possible to replace damaged insulin-producing cells.

In this study, the therapeutic potential of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) therapy was evaluated in patients with T2DM using an 11-point numeric, Nutech functional scoring scale (NFS). hESCs were prepared from a single, spare, expendable, pre-implantation stage fertilized ovum taken during natural in vitro fertilization (IVF), cultured and maintained as per patented technology. These cell lines were injected intravenously according to the protocol. The findings were recorded as the highest possible grade (HPG), for grade 5 of NFS scale and the change in condition by at least one grade of NFS at the end of treatment.

At the end of treatment period, 72.6% patients met the World Health Organization cutoff value, i.e., 6.5% of HbA1c, 65.9% achieved HPG for insulin levels, 16.3% patients required no more than two medications along with insulin and in 21.5% patients, oral medications were reduced from 5 to 1-2. Overall, 94.8% showed improvement of NFS by at least one grade and 54% patients achieved HPG. For all the 11 parameters evaluated, 54% of patients achieved HPG after treatment.

In conclusion, hESCs may be a safe and effective treatment option for patients suffering from diabetes mellitus.

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