NBC Los Angeles features a new study in which recently diagnosed diabetic children are being treated with stem cells from umbilical cord blood. A study participant whose parents banked his cord blood at birth is showing very promising results. After two years in the program, his need for insulin injections has reduced, and his body continues to produce its own insulin.
Florida-based pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Michael Haller is leading this study in which patients are infused with stored cord blood in order to slow down the progression of type 1 diabetes. Because people who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes still will produce insulin for some time, the idea is that stem cells will help the body’s immune system, which ultimately destroys the ability of the pancreas to make insulin. The Dr. Haller states, “What we see is that there may be slight delay or decrease in the rate at which kids lose their ability to make insulin.”