Can stem cells treat diabetes?

Louis A. Cona M.D.

A brief description of how stem cells may be able to treat diabetes.

In the 21st Century, stem cells have become an integral piece in the search for an innovative method to treat Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, and to move away from regular insulin injections for patients. Their ability to morph or differentiate into different types of cells in the body makes stem cells a prime candidate to combat the condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

In general, diabetes is caused by the body's lack of functioning beta cells or b-cells.

In Type 1 Diabetes, the body's immune system actively destroys its supply of b-cells. Type 1 Diabetes is caused by a lack of b-cells in the body due to immunosuppression.

In Type 2 Diabetes, the body's b-cells can no longer produce sufficient levels of insulin to overcome the developed insulin resistance.

Challenges to find a cure for diabetes has largely revolved around finding a method to replace or replenish b-cells.  In the past, the most effective treatment was a b-cell transplant to increase the number of healthy b-cells in a patient. However, this procedure was undesirable for a multitude of reasons. The minimal number of b-cells required for a single transplant required 2-3 healthy donors. Additionally, the regimen of immunosuppressive drugs required to prevent the body from rejecting the donor cells was strenuous for the recipient.

Researchers are now turning to stem cells as a means of achieving a high number of new b-cells without the negative effects of a transplant. After being introduced into a patient, the stem cells migrate to the damaged tissue, differentiate into new b-cells, and continue to maintain a healthy level of b-cells in the body. Alternatively, stem cells can be lab-grown and induced into becoming insulin-producing cells. These cells could then directly replenish depleted cells in a patient's body. With these methods, Type 1 diabetes could be successfully managed without the need for the limited supply of donor cells.

Stem cells can be used in a similar way to treat Type 2 Diabetes. Although b-cells are still present in Type 2 patients, additional b-cells could supplement the body's supply to overcome the insulin resistance present in a patient. Treatment could aim to continuously maintain b-cells levels above the required amount to combat a patient's insulin resistance.

Although advances have already been made in the treatment of diabetes with stem cells, stem cell research is still ongoing and evolving every day. Stem cells have been shown to replenish b-cells both in the body and have been lab-grown for implantation. However, the body still retains an autoimmune response with Type 1 Diabetes and insulin resistance with Type 2 Diabetes. Additional treatment is usually required in conjunction with stem cells to ensure the body safely accepts the new cells and allows normal blood glucose levels to return more permanently.

Notably, lab tests have shown treatments to successfully avert the autoimmune response to the stem cells in non-obese diabetic mice.

DVC Stem is a stem cell therapy pioneer and has offered stem cell therapies for years. Our protocols are IRB approved, and our cells come from regulated, U.S. based, FDA compliant laboratories. We offer high-quality products and tried and tested treatments to our patients. Contact us today to request additional information.

3 DAYS POST TREATMENT

Tyler explains his experience at DVC Stem in the Cayman Islands.

Tyler is optimistic that he will see positive results post treatment.

"The cool thing about the Cayman Islands besides being beautiful, it was an opportunity to get some rest and relaxation allowing my body to heal and restore. I'm back in the US now and feel like I am ready to conquer the world."

- Tyler Heid

2 WEEKS POST TREATMENT

2 weeks post treatment, MS patient Tyler is beginning to see amazing progress. He has been wheelchair bound for the last year and has not been able to move his legs unassisted before now.

2 MONTHS POST TREATMENT

Tyler updates about his progress, explaining the amazing response he has been receiving from his friends and family.

"People coming up to me saying I am moving, talking and smiling so much better. They are noticing a lot of things that have improved over the course of 3 months."

"This morning I was able to do things that I was unable to do before, I was able to stand up and lift my leg higher than I ever have before."

5 MONTHS POST TREATMENT

5 months post treatment Tyler sends us an update on his progress.

"I'm able to smile better, I have more control over the left side of my face."

"I have an increased ability to grip, lift my legs higher and higher which has gone well."

Tyler is optimistic and on the right track to recovery. We are ecstatic to see his progress and look forward to more updates from him.

"I have an increased ability to grip, lift my legs higher and higher which has gone well."

Tyler Heid - 5 months post treatment

David Lyons

Multiple Sclerosis

Although David Lyons was able to successfully fight Multiple Sclerosis through a strict regimen of diet and exercise, he wanted to ensure he was doing everything he could to stay fit. Multiple Sclerosis can be managed with treatment, but there is currently no cure for the disease. For that reason, David came to DVC Stem years ago to use the regenerative and anti-inflammatory attributes of stem cells to aid in his fight for fitness.

The positive results he experienced enabled David to stay strong in the gym, now into his 60s, and that is why he continues to support our clinic to this day.

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