Allo-islet Transplant

Today, the Schulze Diabetes Institute, together with University of Minnesota Medical Center, is one of the leading centers studying the transplantation of islets of Langerhans (cells that produce insulin) as a way to cure type 1 diabetes.
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Physicians at University of Minnesota Medical Center are using allo-islet transplantation to treat patients with type 1 diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes and experience severe hypoglycemia, you may be a candidate for an allo-islet transplant.

To date, only patients who are eligible for a clinical trial can have an islet transplant at University of Minnesota Medical Center. But for many of them, the procedure has been life changing. Some have even been able to stop using insulin altogether for five years or longer. Today, allo-islet transplantation remains unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration; however, while regulatory approval is being sought, patients continue to have access to allo-islet transplants through a treatment protocol and clinical trial currently active at the University of Minnesota.

Our Approach

Currently, outside of regular insulin injections, the only way to restore normal blood glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes (without the risk of low blood sugar) is to replace their islets. Today, the Schulze Diabetes Institute, together with University of Minnesota Medical Center, is one of the leading centers studying the transplantation of islets of Langerhans (cells that produce insulin) as a way to cure type 1 diabetes.

Islet transplant does not require major surgery. The procedure is performed with local anesthetic and mild sedation and takes about one hour. The islets are injected into the liver, where they secrete insulin directly into the circulatory system to control blood glucose levels. After the procedure, patients take medications to prevent their immune system from attacking the newly transplanted islets.

We are pleased with our success so far. In clinical trials at the University of Minnesota, more than 90 percent of participants remain protected from severe hypoglycemia and 80 percent eliminated their need for insulin, with half remaining insulin independent at five years, including some who are now more than 10 years insulin free.

Conditions We Treat

There is no cure for Type 1 diabetes on the market today, but islet transplantation, while still not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, shows promise as a treatment for this disease.

  • Diabetes Mellitus (Type 1)

Locations that offer this treatment

Call your preferred location to schedule an appointment or submit an online request.