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Pancreas Transplant

The University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago's outstanding pancreas transplant program is dedicated to providing optimal healthcare to its patients.  Pancreas transplant is indicated when patients with type 1 diabetes develop complications affecting their eyesight and nerves or their sugar levels can not be properly controlled.  The University of Illinois at Chicago is one of two medical centers in Illinois that offers pancreas transplant alone for patients who have not yet reached kidney failure.

The pancreas transplant was introduced at University of Illinois at Chicago in 1990.   In all the major transplant centers, pancreas transplantation has been performed with increasing frequency as a result of the improved results (~80% graft survival at 1 year).  Pancreas transplant can be considered a "lifesaving" procedure for patient presenting with kidney failure  and diabetes. Its potential benefit, on the quality of life and the secondary complications associated with diabetes, is gaining strength against the risk of the surgical procedure and the concomitant immunosuppressive therapy also to patient s with brittle diabetes and normal kidney function.  

Promising results are also reported in the more innovative, solitary pancreas transplant performed in pre-uremic patients prior to the onset of kidney disfunction. Solitary pancreas transplant is, at the present time, offered from a very limited number of well-established transplant centers. Our transplant center is currently providing this innovative approach with encouraging results of over  80% graft survival at both 1 and 3 years post-transplant.

1 year Graft Survival = 100%

1year Patient survival =100%

3year graft survival =83.33%

3year Patient Survival =100%


Kidney Pancreas Transplant

The University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago's nationally leading kidney-pancreas transplant program is dedicated to providing optimal healthcare to its patients.  Kidney-Pancreas transplantation may be an option in treating your patients’ illness if they are living with type I diabetes.  Kidney-pancreas transplantation is also offered at our institution in cases where the patient has type I diabetes and also suffers from kidney failure.  Today, pancreas transplantation is associated with renal transplant and offered as an effective therapeutic option to selected diabetic patients in end-stage-renal disease.

For simultaneous kidney pancreas transplantation, our results, to date, are a 91% success rate for the kidney and 88% for the pancreas at both 1 and 3-years follow-up. Increasing interest and confidence has driven us to successfully perform the first live-donor kidney-pancreas transplant between identical twins, recently reported. To date, we have performed 9 living-donor kidney-pancreas transplants with 100% patient survival, 100% kidney survival and 77% pancreas survival.

Accurate post-transplant follow-up of our patients will hopefully further corroborate the efficacy of pancreas transplant in preventing or reversing the secondary complications of diabetes.

Islet Cell Transplantation

The University of Illinois at Chicago is particularly proud of our pancreatic islet cell transplant program. We offer a state of the art islet  isolation facility located in the University of Illinois at Chicago hospital. This "Class 100" facility is considered by experts in the field to be one of the best in the world.

Today, diabetes mellitus affects over 20 million American children and young adults, whose quality of life is restricted by insulin shots and monitoring of glucose levels.  Diabetes Mellitus is a group of diseases characterized by high levels of blood glucose resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. In Type-I diabetes, beta cells within pancreatic islets are lost and the patients pancreas no longer can produce insulin and patients require the administration of exogenous insulin, following strict blood glucose monitoring, to control the level of glucose in their bodies.

The technique used consists of the transplantation of isolated human pancreatic islets into the liver of a diabetic recipient. There is evidence that transplanted islet cells can replace the missing function of a diabetic condition by producing insulin with optimal metabolic control, requiring no exogenous insulin. Pancreatic islet transplantation has been successfully performed in various patients  but is considered at present an experimental therapy for the cure of diabetes.

University of Illinois at Chicago has started a new clinical study of pancreatic islet cell transplantation with an expert team of physicians, surgeons, diabetologists and immunologists. This program offers new opportunities for the treatment of Type I and surgically induced (after pancreatectomy) diabetes. Following the success of an Edmonton, Canada group (See article - Clinical Outcomes and Insulin Secretion After Islet Transplantation With the Edmonton Protocol: Diabetes, Vol. 50, April 2001), it is hoped that islet cell transplantation will be the next major breakthrough in diabetes treatment.  UIC  is the first center in the US to conduct phase 3 trials in islet transplantation.


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