Emory Performs First Islet Transplant in Georgia

First Islet Transplant in Georgia

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Islet Transplant Program

Islet TransplantThe Islet Transplant Program at the Emory Transplant Center in Atlanta, Georgia is one of just a handful of institutions around the world performing islet transplants as a type 1 diabetes treatment.

Islet transplantation is still in the research stage. Because recipients of islet transplants must take immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection, at present islet transplantation is only considered in patients with brittle type 1 diabetes.

The "Islets of Langerhans" or "islets" are clusters of cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Insulin is released by the islets in response to glucose levels in the blood. Insulin allows the body to use the glucose to produce energy. People with type 1 diabetes have lost the ability to produce insulin. They must take insulin injections several times a day to control their glucose levels in order to stay alive. Learn more about islet transplantation >

Emory Islet Transplant Center Highlights

Georgia's Only Islet Transplant Program

Emory is currently the only islet cell transplant program in Georgia. The first islet transplant was performed at Emory on March 20, 2003. As of August 2010, Emory transplant surgeons have performed 22 successful islet transplant procedures on 15 patients.

Forefront of Islet Transplant Research

The islet transplant program at Emory received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Emory's Institutional Review Board (IRB) in January 2003, and is currently accepting patients in three islet transplant protocols.

Research & Clinical Trials

Research & Clinical Trials

The Emory Transplant Center has earned a reputation of clinical excellence and advanced research. The Center’s research funding continues to grow and research dollars received from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have nearly tripled over the last six years.

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Islet Transplant History

Additional Resources

Emory’s islet transplant program has performed clinical trials using the Edmonton Protocol, the turning point in islet transplantation. Learn about the history of islet transplantation and the success of the Edmonton Protocol.

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Emory Transplant Center


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