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At Baylor, islet cell transplantation is giving people with chronic pancreatitis the possibility for new hope. We are the first center in Texas to gain FDA permission to process pancreatic islet cells for transplantation, and we’re the first hospital in the Southwest to perform islet cell transplantation from our own lab for type 1 diabetes patients and chronic pancreatitis patients. Baylor is one of the few medical centers in the world to offer this procedure.
Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic, and, in either case, it is inflammation of the pancreas. While acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly and usually resolves with treatment in a few days, chronic pancreatitis does not resolve and usually gets worse over time, leading to permanent damage. Some causes can include use of alcohol, heredity, cystic fibrosis, high levels of calcium or fat in the blood, autoimmune conditions, some medicines and other unknown factors.
Auto islet cells transplantation is an innovative treatment for carefully selected patients in pain from chronic pancreatitis. After undergoing complete removal of the pancrease and spleen, patients receive a transplant from their own islets, which include the cells that produce insulin.
Patients who have undergone islet cell transplant have been able to achieve much or all of the pain they experienced with chronic pancreatitis and through the injection of islet cells, have avoided the diagnosis of diabetes. At Baylor, we actively perform islet cell transplants, in an effort to achieve across-the-board blood sugar control improvement.
Click here for a quick overview on what the islet cells do and what causes the need for transplant.
Patients who have long-term chronic pancreatitis may be eligible for an auto-islet cell transplant.
This is an experimental protocol - aims specifically at patients with long-term disease who have difficulty controlling their blood sugar.
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