Success rates are mostly quoted in terms of whether patients remain insulin free in certain bands of time after the operation. With respect to patients with chronic pancreatitis transplanted with their own islet cells because they have opted to remove their own pancreas success may be judged also on relieving the pain of the pancreatitis and the consequent opiate addiction.

Getting back to transplant success rates particularly for Type 1 diabetic patients after islet cell transplant, then the success must be assessed over many years. The success of the so-called Edmonton protocol was impressive at one year but then gradually became quite poor after about 10 years post transplant. This is not to negate the contribution of the Edmonton team as they have clearly contributed in a major way to how future research is being dictated. It is to point out that immediate success does not necessarily mean long-term success. In other words the majority of patients being free from diabetes one year after the transplant was a success at the time but ten years later the majority being back on insulin injections was deemed a relative failure by both patients and their doctors.

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