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Cell Regeneration as a Strategy for Reversing Type 1 Diabetes

Mark Holterman

With nearly three decades of experience in his field, Dr. Mark J. Holterman engages with the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria as surgery and pediatrics professor. Throughout his career, Mark Holterman, MD, has led diverse grant-funded projects as principal investigator, including American Diabetes Association-funded research in “Induction of Tolerance to Islet Cell Transplants.

Dr. Holterman has continued his research on the topic over the years and coauthored “Reversal of type 1 diabetes via islet β cell regeneration following immune modulation by cord blood-derived multipotent stem cells” (BMC Medicine, 2012). The paper details a situation in which the major factor preventing a type 1 diabetes (T1D) cure is lack of ability to control autoimmunity.
A promising new approach to T1D involves the use of multipotent stem cells (CB-SCs) that are derived from human-cord blood. They work to alter human islet β cell-specific T cell clones and regulatory T cells in ways that work to resolve the T1D autoimmunity issue.
The phase1/phase 2 study found that Stem Cell Educator therapy was effective in exerting a number of positive changes in patients that improved co-stimulating molecule expression and restored balance in Th1/Th2/Th3 cytokine. The initial results were that Stem Cell Educator therapy safely improves metabolic control, promotes islet β cell regeneration, and reverses autoimmunity in patients with severe or moderate type 1 diabetes.

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