Success rates are improving along with the development of many different techniques associated with the treatment. For example, the quality of islet isolation from donor material is improving as the preservation and transportation of viable transplantable cells. There are huge advances in the research of immunosuppression drugs and regimes associated with encouraging results. There are also great strides being made to protect the transplant material within protective capsules and to transplant material in a number of novel sites around the body. Clinical trials are ongoing to assess success but unfortunately in many countries clinical activity has been suspended due to issues of funding what might appear to be a relatively expensive technique.

Health economics very much comes into the argument but even so it is not so difficult to predict that in a certain patient group, carefully selected, there would be a considerable cost saving. The cost of treating long-term morbidity, constant hospital admissions and chronic diabetic complications will outweigh the cost of a transplant by many times. Unfortunately the sources of power that control the clinical purse strings often don’t have a significantly long attention span to be able to absorb these types of arguments.

























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