The goal of islet cell transplantation in Type 1 diabetics is to provide those affected with
constant normal blood glucose levels, thereby reducing or eliminating altogether the need
for injected insulin. This normalization may prevent or slow progression of diabetic
complications, result in a healthier lifestyle, and lead to a better quality of life.
Participants who meet the inclusion criteria will undergo an extensive screening process
which typically includes a series of blood tests, EKG, chest x-rays, and a psychological
evaluation, among others. Those who are eligible for and chose to participate in the trial
will receive an islet cell transplant and bone marrow infusion from the same donor, together
with following immunosuppressive medications: tacrolimus, sirolimus, daclizumab and
infliximab. Because the bone marrow infusion may successfully prevent the transplanted islet
cells from rejecting, some participants may be able to stop taking the immunosuppressive
medications after a year.
The islet cell transplant is done under local anesthesia in a special procedure radiology
room. Several days after the islet cell transplant, the participant is admitted to the
hospital as an outpatient in order to receive bone marrow via a simple intra-venous infusion
All participants will need to be seen at the Diabetes Research Institute after the
transplant for follow-up testing and post-islet cell transplant care.
- Candidates must be between the ages of 18 and 50.
- Candidates must have had insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) for at least 5
years and been under physician care for at least 6 months prior to enrollment in
- Eligible candidates will have poorly controlled IDDM and manifest signs and symptoms
severe enough to be incapacitating. These symptoms can include episodes of
hypoglycemic unawareness (failure to recognize blood glucose levels < 54 mg/dl) or
episodes requiring the assistance of others.
- Candidates may have poor diabetes control despite intensive insulin therapy (HbA1c >
- Creatinine clearance should be > 60 ml/min)
- Body Mass Index should be less than 26
- Women of child-bearing age must have a negative pregnancy test and agree to follow
effective contraceptive measures for the duration of the trial.
- Previous or concurrent organ transplant
- Previous or concurrent malignancy
- Untreated proliferative diabetic retinopathy
- Unstable cardiovascular status, including positive stress echocardiography (if > age
- Active infections, including x-ray evidence of pulmonary infection
- Peptic ulcer disease, gall stones, or portal hypertension
- Abnormal liver function tests
- Presence of panel reactive antibodies > 20%
- Creatinine clearance < 60 ml/min
- HbA1c > 12%
- Serological evidence of HIV, HbsAg, or HCV
- Anemia (hemoglobin < 12.0)
- Any condition or circumstance, including psychogenic factors, that preclude
therapeutic compliance or otherwise make it unsafe to undergo an islet cell
- PSA > 4 in males