Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Edmonton Protocol celebrates 10th Anniversary

I just read that the Edmonton Protocol has celebrated its tenth anniversary.  I still remember reading about it for the first time back in 2000 and getting really excited about it.  At the time, islet cell transplants seemed to be not only the cure, but very eminent.  I asked my endocrinologist about it and he thought maybe it would be another 5-10 years before it would be available to all diabetics.  I was disappointed that it would take so long.  It just seemed right.  I could never get too excited about the technological advances like the pump or monitors.  I knew that we needed biology, not hardware to really make an improvement.

During the next eight or nine years, I would occasionally read an update from Edmonton.  Some of the patients were still insulin independent, some had rejected the transplant, and some were in between.  There wasn't much national coverage, and my internet skills were not strong enough to keep me very current.  Little did I know that it was actually an ongoing project and that it had been advancing in the U.S. as well.  The centers that are performing islet cell transplants are all using the  protocol that originated in Edmonton, and are comparing different immunosuppressant regimens to see which works best.  Clinical  trials are advancing through the levels with the hope of gaining the FDA approval necessary to open the procedure to the public.

I still am just amazed and so proud and pleased to be one of those islet cell  recipients now.  As I  mentioned above, I knew right away that this was a good thing and I still feel strongly that islet cell transplantation is the monumental advancement needed to reach the cure.

1 comment:

SheyFey said...

Great Blog. How exciting to be a part of something bigger!