Patients suffering from type 1 diabetes may soon have access to improved approaches to treat the disease, courtesy of new research out of Sydney, Australia’s Westmead Institute for Medical Research. A team of researchers, led by Professor Jenny Gunton, discovered that pancreatic islets transplants delivered into the quadriceps muscle work just as successfully as the current clinical practice of transplanting islets into a patient's liver via the portal vein. Lead researcher Ms. Rebecca Stokes said that transplants into the liver can present certain risks for the patient, so their research investigated safer and more beneficial treatment options for transplant recipients. "Islets are cells in the pancreas that produce insulin," Ms Stokes explained. "Pancreatic islet transplantation is used as a cure for type 1 diabetes as it allows the recipient to produce and regulate insulin after their own islet cells have been destroyed by the disease. Currently, islet transplants are infused into a patient's liver via the portal vein. This site is used for islet transplants due to its exposure to both nutrients and insulin in the body.
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