(HealthDay)—Stem cell educator therapy may provide long term benefits in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online July 7 in Stem Cells Translational Medicine.
Yong Zhao, M.D., Ph.D., an associate scientist at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, and colleagues looked at four years of data on nine type 1 diabetes patients in China. Two individuals with type 1 diabetes who received a stem cell educator treatment shortly after diagnosis (five and eight months later) still had normal C-peptide production and didn't need insulin four years after a single treatment. Another type 1 patient had had the disease for four years when she received treatment. She still had improvements in her C-peptide levels, but wasn't considered in remission. The remaining six patients with type 1 saw decreases in their C-peptide levels over time.
The researchers also looked at six patients with severe, long-standing (15 to 24 years) type 2 diabetes. They found that one treatment helped four patients achieve normal C-peptide levels and maintain them over the four-year follow-up. "For the four type 2 patients, their C-peptide is very stable after one treatment," Zhao told HealthDay.
"Stem cell educator therapy is a safe approach" with long-term effectiveness, said Zhao. In addition to helping people with diabetes, Zhao said the treatment could help with other autoimmune diseases, possibly including alopecia areata, lupus, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and Sjogren's syndrome.
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