Diabetes Therapy Advancement

Diabetes Therapy: New Process Produces Purer, Safer Pancreas Stem Cells for Potential Transplant

17 December 2023

Drs. James Shapiro and Nerea Cuesta-Gomez have developed a new step to improve the process for creating insulin-producing pancreatic cells from a patient’s own stem cells, bringing the prospect of injection-free treatment closer for people with diabetes. They published their research in Stem Cell Reports. “We want to replace the need for insulin injections with cells that produce the same hormone — insulin — that will regulate blood sugar in a perfect manner,” Dr. Shapiro says. 
Dr. Nerea Cuesta-Gomez, a postdoctoral fellow with the Clinical Islet Transplant Program, which Dr. Shapiro directs says, “The cells used for this research were pancreatic progenitors, cells that can be further differentiated in the lab to generate cells that release insulin. Throughout those next steps of differentiation, we believe that we will be able to eliminate that five to 10 per cent of cells that did not result in pancreatic cells.”