Case Study: Type 1 Diabetes Treated by Stem Cell Transplant

Patient Profile: Wanghan, Male, 33 years old, Malaysia.

Diagnosis: Type 1 Diabetes, Diabetic Nephropathy,

Complications: renal anemia, renal hypertension

Main complaints: polydipsia, polyphagia and frequent urination for 10 years, discontinuous edema for about one year.

Before he had stem cell transplant, the biochemistry test results were: TP57.2g/l, ALB25.8g/l, BUN9.60mmol/l, Creatinine 181.0umol/l, UA485umol/l, BMG5.50mg/l

On 14 February, 2011, he received the first stem cell transplant. And after seven-day observation, the results were as follows:

  1. Renal functions: Creatinine decreased from 181umol/L to 178umol/L;

  Urea Nitrogen decreased from 9.6mmol/L to 8.96mmol/L;

  Blood Uric Acid decreased from 485mmol/L to 431mmol/L.

  2. He had a history of Diabetes for 12 years, and the blood sugar could not be satisfactorily controlled. His fasting blood glucose was 8.4mmol/l, and the blood sugar two hours after breakfast was 12.9mmol/L. After the stem cell transplant, under the condition that the patient still persisted in using insulin, his fasting blood glucose was 3.4mmol/l, and two hours after breakfast the blood glucose was 6.8 mmol/l. Before he was hospitalized, the insulin dose he was using was: morning 12u, noon 20u, and evening 12u. After a period of the stem cell transplant, it decreased to morning 6u, noon 10u, and evening 6u. His blood sugar was near to the normal range: fasting blood sugar 6.5mmol/l, and two hours after breakfast 8.3mmol/l.

Expert comments: Type 1 Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin which can properly control blood sugar levels. The conventional treatment is mainly insulin, meanwhile to strengthen the sensitivity to insulin of the peripheric tissues and slow down the adsorption of the glucose to prevent the occurrence of the complications. And the patients should use insulin for life-long time. After the stem cell transplant, his blood sugar gradually comes near to the normal range and the use of insulin is also decreasing. It proves that the stem cells do have effect in treating Type 1 Diabetes.

Stem cells can differentiate into various cells under the proper culture. When transfused into the patient’s body, these cells can differentiate into islet cells under the inducing of microenvironment, repair the damaged islet cells and reconstruct the genetic flaw so as to achieve the aim of the treatment. Stem cells can also differentiate into nephrocytes, which can gradually improve the renal functions and promote the kidneys to secrete erythropoietin to correct anemia.

And up to now, stem cell transplant is proved to be the most effective treatment for Type 1 Diabetes. And this solves the problem that the patients need to have the insulin injection for life time.

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