April 9, 2008

From the News Wire: Thinking Like a Parasite Down Under

Manipulating the immune system like a parasite:

One day it may be possible to mimic the tactics used by parasites to trick the body into accepting transplanted tissues or organs.

That is the hope of Dr Shane Grey from the Garvan Institute for Medical Research and Professor John Dalton from the Institute for the Biotechnology of Infectious Diseases at the University of Technology (UTS). The pair has been awarded a $400,000 grant through the Australian Islet Transplantation Program, administered jointly by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.


The Australian Islet Transplantation Program funds much innovative transplant therapy work in the hope of one day finding a way for recipients to tolerate islet (insulin producing cells in the pancreas) transplants without having to take highly toxic immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their lives. Many people believe that effective islet transplantation offers the greatest hope for curing Type 1 diabetes, or insulin dependent diabetes.

And this:

Experimental Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes Patients Shows Promise


New research monitoring the effects of Islet cell transplantation resulted
in near-normal metabolic control and decreased hypoglycemia. This research will
be presented at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE)
17th Annual Meeting & Clinical Congress, on Friday, May 16th, at the Walt
Disney World Dolphin Resort in Orlando.

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