Islet transplantation is a procedure which infuses insulin-secreting islet cells into the liver via the portal vein to replace insulin secretion for selected people with type 1 diabetes. Currently, this procedure can stabilize blood sugars in most individuals with type 1 diabetes and result in insulin independence in some. However, there is a gradual decline in insulin secretion over time, so most recipients require more than one transplant. Also, as with any transplant, recipients must take immunosuppressive medication to keep the islet cells from being rejected. This is currently not available for individuals with type 2 diabetes.
To be eligible to receive an islet transplant, you must:
- Be over 18 years of age.
- Have type 1 diabetes for more than 5 years.
- Have significant difficulty controlling your blood sugar, despite your best efforts and appropriate medical support from a diabetes specialist and clinical diabetes centre.
To learn more about islet transplantation in BC, please see the following:
- BC Transplant Society Guidelines to Islet Cell Transplant
- The Ike Barber Human Islet Transplant Laboratory
- Vancouver Coastal Islet Transplant information
- BC Transplant Society
The following staff members are actively involved in islet transplant research.