A step towards independence for people with type 1 diabetes

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A step towards insulin independence for people with type 1 diabetes*


14th June 2013

Australian Diabetes Council (ADC) has congratulated Australian researchers and doctors who have published the results of a clinical trial which lead to insulin independence of participants who had high risk-type 1 diabetes.

The trial, which involved ‘islet cell transplantation’ with a number of people who suffered ‘Hypoglycaemia unawareness’, brings hope to the approximately 150,000 people with type 1 diabetes that will one day no longer need to treat their disease with insulin.

“This announcement is wonderful news – every step forward towards improved treatments and understanding of diabetes should be celebrated, and on behalf of Australian Diabetes Council and our 180,000 members I congratulate everyone involved in this major Australian trial,” Australian Diabetes Council Deputy CEO Kristen Hazelwood said.

Ms Hazelwood said that while her advice was that the ‘islet cell transplantation’ procedure was only a trial and that a public waiting list would not be opened in the immediate future, yesterday’s announcement gave definite hope to people with type 1 diabetes.

“As an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of Australians living with diabetes, striving towards a future where diabetes can not only be prevented but one day cured, successful trials such as these are very exciting for all people with type 1 diabetes,” Ms Hazelwood said.

‘Hypoglycaemia unawareness’ can lead to serious unanticipated hypoglycaemic events as people with this severe condition do not experience the usual symptoms of low blood glucose. It affects around 10% of people with Type 1 diabetes.

In the trial procedure, insulin-producing islet cells were taken from organ donors and transplanted into a recipient’s liver.  The procedure was first undertaken at Westmead Hospital in Sydney in 2003. Those who have undergone the procedure require immunosuppressant medications following the cell transplant and many of the small group reached insulin independence. Research is still ongoing on long term effects and broader use as a treatment for type 1 diabetes.

The trial was conducted by a major national consortium including Sydney’s Westmead Hospital and Westmead Millennium Institute, the University of Sydney, Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital Institute of Medical Research and Adelaide with funding from the Commonwealth government.

The summary of the trial is available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23668890

Anyone with questions specifically about this new procedure should contact 9845 8257 or 0408 893 804.

People who are concerned about diabetes or would like further information or to make a donation to the ongoing support of Australians with diabetes can visit www.australiandiabetescouncil.com or call 1300 342 238 to speak with an expert.

*Source – www.australiandiabetescouncil.com

Categories: News and Events


  1. Yeraldinne
    Yeraldinne On 18/10/2014 at 7:29 am Reply

    An A1C test, also known as a glycated heoomlgbin test, isn’t used for diagnosing prediabetes or diabetes. Instead, it gauges how well you’re managing your diabetes.Unlike a fasting blood glucose test or a daily finger stick, both of which measure your blood sugar level at a given time, the A1C test reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Test results show what percentage of your heoomlgbin — a protein found in red blood cells — is sugar coated (glycated).

  2. Marcela
    Marcela On 18/10/2014 at 9:00 am Reply

    It felt good! Lots of positive refeoircemnnt for the value of self-monitoring blood glucose.No critiques on the numbers (which is great, because we critique ourselves too much as it is). Just number after number, from young and old, male and female, type 1 and type 2, English and Spanish, black and white. People posted that they made smart health decisions based on their individual numbers, like treating below 70 mg/dl with some glucose. Me likey!Calculations are still in the works we didn’t reach 14,000 posts with #14kpwd.But I sure made a lot of new friends with diabetes. And I can’t wait to see what we can do for World Diabetes Day in November. Click, click, click.

  3. Indian
    Indian On 21/01/2016 at 12:13 pm Reply

    Thanks guys, I just about lost it, looking for this.

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