Diabetes is an especially challenging condition for its many continuous demands and high risk of complications. Although your diabetes may be relatively under control, there is currently no way to prevent or reverse the disease with conventional treatment.

Okyanos Cell Therapy addresses the underlying issues causing your body to insufficiently regulate your blood-glucose levels, utilizing the powerful healing cells found in your body fat.

Tackling Type 1 Diabetes from Within

In cases of type 1 diabetes (T1D), under attack is not only the pancreas but also the tiny blood vessels which carry vital, oxygen-rich blood to the pancreas and the insulin-producing cells therein.

Research has shown the importance of these blood vessels in supporting and restoring insulin production, making the growth of new blood vessels a primary goal of stem cell therapy for diabetes.

Remarkably, the dynamic healing cells found in your adipose (fat) tissue can address damage to your pancreas and promote restoration of insulin-producing cells. The most important strength of your cells in the fight against T1D, however, lies in their ability to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels which in turn supports stronger insulin production and distribution.

Your fat-derived stem cells (a type medically known as mesenchymal stem cells) work to modulate the immune system and halt further destructive attacks which may threaten the viability of new, healthy insulin-producers in the pancreas.

Restoring Insulin Sensitivity in Type 2 Diabetes

Patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) experience a slowed production of insulin as well as decreased sensitivity to the insulin which is present. (This is also known as “insulin resistance.”)

Adult stem cell therapy for type 2 diabetes presents opportunities for improvement by targeting increased sensitivity of insulin receptors, repairing damage to the pancreas and stimulating the growth of new blood vessels to support insulin production and distribution in the body.

How Cell Therapy Works

The stem cells found in your adipose (fat) tissue are known as mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs. These cells could be likened to small “physicians” who diagnose and correct individual areas of the body, migrating to sites of damage or injury within your pancreas and other areas, and working to “turn on” your body’s innate healing capacity by:

  • Repairing and replacing damaged cells
  • Developing into insulin-producing cells
  • Promoting survival of insulin-producing cells
  • Preventing further destructive attacks from the immune system
  • Improving insulin sensitivity
  • Preventing further cell/tissue death
  • Stimulating the growth of new blood vessels for improved blood flow

There is evidence to suggest that stem cell therapy can lessen your dependence on insulin injections or other diabetes-related medications, as well as your risk for the serious complications of diabetes. At Okyanos, our patients have reported a reduction in their normal insulin doses, even months after their treatment is completed.

What is the Difference Between Type 1 and 2 Diabetes?

Because your body depends on the presence of insulin in order to maintain healthy blood-sugar levels, understanding the normal function of this vital hormone is important to understanding diabetes. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and helps your cells to absorb sugar (glucose), enabling the conversion of sugar into energy or its storage for later use.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system attacks your body’s insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. As a result, your body is unable to produce any insulin on its own.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of this disease and occurs when your pancreas is able to produce some insulin—although still less than a healthy pancreas—and when your body resists the effects of insulin. (This is called “insulin resistance.”)

If your body doesn’t produce insulin as in type 1, or is insulin resistant as in type 2, your blood-glucose levels are not correctly regulated automatically, which can cause long-term complications such as heart disease, stroke, diabetic neuropathy and kidney failure.

A Personalized Approach to Type 1 and 2 Diabetes Complications

Complications resulting from diabetes are common and can lead to damage in organs, nerves and supporting blood vessels. Utilizing your own repair cells, we are able to address a number of diabetic complications including:

  • Neuropathy
  • Skin conditions
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Retinopathy

The Procedure

Adult stem cell treatment at Okyanos is a minimally invasive, same-day outpatient procedure. Though recovery can and does vary from patient to patient, our protocols are designed and carried out with the goal of keeping “downtime” to a minimum. A general overview of the procedure is as follows:

  1. First, water-assisted fat harvesting is done to obtain about a cup of adipose (fat) tissue.
  2. The unique blend of stem and regenerative cells which exist in the adipose tissue are then isolated and prepared for intravenous delivery utilizing an EU-approved, closed/sterile, fully automated CGMP cell processing system. For patients receiving direct injections, a closed/sterile, manually operated cell processing technology will be used to obtain a micro-fragmented, cell-rich product for injection.
  3. In accordance with the individualized treatment plan prepared for each patient, adult stem and regenerative cells are delivered intravenously to address the systemic factors relating to autoimmune disorders, as well as by direct injection (where appropriate) to address local symptoms. This combination of IV and direct injection is a standard technique developed by doctors at Okyanos.

To learn more about Okyanos Cell Therapy for autoimmune conditions, contact a Patient Liaison to request a free educational consultation or dial 855-OKYANOS (855-659-2667).

References

Immune Intervention in Type 1 Diabetes (August, 2011) in Seminars in Immunology. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3177994/

Genetically Engineered Islets and Alternative Sources of Insulin-Producing Cells for Treating Autoimmune Diabetes: Quo Vadis? (May, 2012) in International Journal of Endocrinology. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3368364/

Infusion of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Ameliorates Hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetic Rates: Identification of a Novel Role in Improving Insulin Sensitivity (June, 2012) in Diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22618776

Stem Cell Therapy to Cure Type 1 Diabetes: From Hype to Hope (May, 2013) in Stem Cells Translational Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23572052

Recovery from Overt Type 1 Diabetes Ensues When Immune Tolerance and β Cell Formation Are Coupled with Regeneration of Endothelial Cells in the Pancreatic Islets (Habib Zaghouani, May 28, 2013) in Diabetes. Retrieved from http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2013/04/17/db12-1281.abstract

Adipose stem cell-based regenerative medicine for the reversal of hyperglycemia (June, 2014) in World Journal of Diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4058728/

Human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into insulin, somatostatin and glucagon expressing cells (March, 2006) in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X06001483

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Treatment of the Complications of Diabetes Mellitus (January, 2011) in STEM CELLS. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1002/stem.556