There are different approaches to treating diabetes, Pancreas transplant or use of existing pancreas cells through organ donation. While directly addressing the diabetes issue, the lack of organs available through donation, the cost, and uneven quality and yield of any one organ make this a limited option that fails to address the scope of the existing problem society faces today.
Extracting the body’s own cells, modifying them to produce insulin producing cells and then
introducing them back into the patient provides therapy with predictable results at a lower cost.
Since the patient’s own cells are utilized there are no availability or quality issues to consider.
Introducing insulin producing beta cells derived from stem cells. This approach has not only
ethical concerns in how the cells are produced, but introduces the ancillary problem of how to
control the rejection issue of these cells by the patient’s immune system. An encapsulation
device or immunosuppression drugs have to be used, complicating the procedure and raising
questions as to the durability of the treatment.