A REVOLUTIONARY treatment for diabetes which promises to end the need for patients to inject themselves with insulin could be available in Edinburgh within the year.
The treatment involves the removal of insulin-producing cells from the pancreas of a donor being injected into a patient’s liver.
Surgeons in the Capital are looking for funding to staff a unit 24 hours a day where the “islet” cells from the pancreas could be harvested from donor organs for transplantation.
The cell transplant treatment would be ideal for those who have Type 1 diabetes and have great difficulty in controlling their blood sugar levels.
If blood sugar levels get too low, it can trigger a life threatening condition known as hypoglycaemia which can lead to diabetics falling into a coma.
Four successful transplants have also been carried out by doctors in England.
Worldwide, around 400 patients have received cell transplants and 80 per cent of those no longer needed insulin within a year of the operation. However, patients do have to continue to take drugs to stop the body from rejecting the transplant.