Long-term Clinical Follow-up of Transplanted Microencapsulated Islets in a Small Group of Patients with T1D

The objective of the study was to assess the long-term blood glucose control and immune system status of humans with T1D who received microencapsulated human islet transplants without immunosuppression. Four non-immunosuppressed patients, with long-standing T1D, received an intraperitoneal transplant of microencapsulated human islets. Immune system components and islet cell antibodies were measured before and long term after the transplant. All patients were positive for serum C-peptide response, both in basal and after glucose stimulation, throughout 3 years of post-transplant follow-up. Daily mean blood glucose, as well as HbA1c levels, significantly improved after the transplant, with daily insulin use declining in all cases and being discontinued transiently in one patient. Key autoantibodies all tested negative 3 years after the transplant. In conclusion, the microencapsulated islet transplants in this small group of patients did not elicit any immune response, even in the cases where more than one preparation was transplanted.


Basta G, Montanucci P, Luca G, Boselli C, Noya G, Barbaro B, Qi M, Kinzer KP, Oberholzer J, Calafiore R. (2011). Long-term metabolic and immunological follow-up of nonimmunosuppressed patients with type 1 diabetes treated with microencapsulated islet allografts: four cases. Diabetes Care. Nov;34(11):2406-9. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

Ramifications for Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes:

This is small pilot trial that showed that encapsulated islets can provide therapeutic benefit to T1D patients without immune system sensitization.

JDRF Involvement:

This work was not supported by JDRF.