November 14, on the birthday of Frederick Bunting, the scientist who discovered the hormone insulin, the World Diabetes Day has been acknowledged all around the world since 1991.
The purpose of the World Diabetes Day is to raise public awareness of the prevention methods of this dangerous disease and of taking measures to identify it on early stages.
In humans, insulin is produced by the beta cells of the Langerhans islets of pancreas. When these cells are damaged, insulin production decreases and type 1 diabetes develops, whereas type 2 diabetes occurs as a result of impaired receptors sensitivity to insulin. Both types of diabetes are manifested by high blood sugar levels – hyperglycemia, which, without proper treatment, can be life-threatening. The danger of even controlled diabetes is that many metabolic disorders and complications of the cardiovascular system, kidneys, organ of vision, and skin develop on the background of this disease.
Diabetes is sometimes called not a disease, but a lifestyle. After all, diet, physical activity, prevention of obesity are not only important factors in controlling the disease, but also the methods of its prevention, first of all in terms of type 2 diabetes.
In the last decade, stem cells of various populations have been actively investigated among innovative therapies for type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In particular, a clinical trial conducted at the University of Florida (USA) showed that, thanks to cord blood infusions, doctors were able to reduce insulin requirements in children with type 1 diabetes. Also, in clinical trials in the early stages of type 1 diabetes, immunosuppressive therapy is conducted to reduce the destruction of insulin-producing cells by autoantibodies, after which hematopoietic stem cells are administered to the patient. Studies are also underway to grow pancreatic insulin-producing cells from stem cells of different types.
It is important that experimental and clinical trials are also conducted in Ukraine to study the effectiveness of cell technologies in the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Thus, in the framework of clinical trials, the Institute of Cell Therapy, a co-founder and a full member of the Association of cryobanks, has gained a significant positive experience in stem cells application in the treatment of type 2 diabetes in the framework of clinical trials, as well as in the treatment of chronic wounds, trophic ulcers and other vascular complications of the diabetes mellitus.