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I can do that!: It's good news week.

Byline: Tom Dowling

LIFE's been especially good this week . . . My colleagues here at the the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo and Trinity Weeklies NUJ chapels have just handed the new All Together Now! charity a fantastic pounds 1,000 donation; Lloyds TSB Foundation confirmed their backing for the project; city council officers and those at St Helens and Knowsley have all offered to help distribute the new magazine; and businesses across the region are starting to place adverts in the new magazine.

And on top of all that, there was even more good news yesterday - for me and for all parents of a child with diabetes . .

. Scientists at King's College Hospital, London, said that a 61-year-old man with diabetes had been 'cured', thanks to a groundbreaking cell transplant procedure that involved three transplants of islet cells from the pancreases of dead donors.

It's the kind of news that about 250,000 people with Type 1 diabetes in the UK have been longing to hear.

Professor Stephanie Amiel, a consultant in diabetes, said the breakthrough was'hugely exciting'. 'The implications for the future are enormous.

'Eventually this could mean the end of insulin dependence for all Type 1 diabetes sufferers.

'In its current state of technology though islet transplantation is not perfect. We do not have enough organ donors, therefore we cannot extract enough islets to help all Type 1 patients.'

Prof Amiel said that more research needed to be done to perfect the islet isolation procedures and the drugs used to prevent rejection of the cells and a return to diabetes.

'At present we can therefore only offer this treatment to patients in whom conventional treatments are failing in a major way.

'However, it is our aim that ultimately all people with Type 1 diabetes would become eligible for islet transplantation and free from insulin dependence,' she said.

Nigel Heaton, a consultant liver surgeon at King's College Hospital, said the transplantation was 'remarkable'.

'King's is the first centre in the UK to achieve insulin independence in Type 1 patients,' he said.

'The result of this work will have farreaching implications, not only in Type 1 diabetes patients, but also in the wider area of cell research.

'We have shown that cell transplantation, with both pancreatic islet cells and previously with hepatocyte (liver) cells, can offer patients a valuable alternative to conventional treatments.'

Dr Angela Wilson, director of research at the charity Diabetes UK, said: 'This is a major breakthrough in improving the lives of people with diabetes.

'Diabetes UK is now funding the work which we hope will turn this breakthrough into a cure for all people with the condition. The transplant work is moving forward all the time. We hope many more people will benefit from this procedure in the future

All Together Now! is based at The Bradbury Centre, Youens Way, Liverpool L14 2EP. Tel: 0151 230 0307. Fax: 0151 220 4446. email:
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 10, 2005
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