A Step Closer

New diabetes research holds promise

Type 1 diabetes—when the body fails to make insulin—often emerges in childhood. For these kids, the diagnosis comes with a lifetime of painful insulin injections and finger pricks. To lessen the burden, Dr. Francis Lynn and his team are exploring how new cells can be created in the Canucks for Kids Fund Diabetes Lab and implanted back into patients to replace the insulin-producing pancreatic cells that are lost.

“If everything goes as planned, this would mean insulin injections would no longer be needed for type 1 diabetes,” Dr. Lynn said.

Along with improving quality of life, this therapy would also improve health. Blood sugar swings can cause serious complications, like kidney damage and vision problems, so the idea is to create cells that can monitor glucose more closely and secrete just the right amount of insulin. The research is still in its early days, but it has the potential to dramatically improve lives.


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