Nov 29, 2021 - Health

Patient possibly cured of Type 1 diabetes

A photo illustration showing the Vertex logo on a smartphone.
Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

An Ohio man appears to have been cured of his Type 1 diabetes after participating in an early-stage clinical trial of a stem cell treatment by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: If ultimately successful, the development could offer hope to millions of Americans who suffer the life-altering symptoms of the disease.

  • In June, Brian Shelton, 64, got an infusion of cells grown from stem cells that mimicked the insulin-producing pancreas cells his body lacked.
  • "We've been looking for something like this to happen literally for decades," said Irl Hirsch, a diabetes expert at the University of Washington who was not involved in the research, per the New York Times.

But, but, but: The results are still early and have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Experts say they want to see the study replicated, see if there are unanticipated adverse events and if the treatment will last a lifetime, per the New York Times.

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