A woman who suffered type 1 diabetes is no longer
dependent on insulin after Japanese doctors transplanted cells from her
mother’s pancreas into her liver, media outlets worldwide reported. The woman received more than
400,000 of the cells, and they started functioning immediately.
The 27-year-old had been insulin-dependent for more
than a decade, but was able to give up the shots about three weeks after the
surgery in January. She remains free of diabetes symptoms. Medical experts were
hopeful about the results, but cautioned that a significant amount of
additional study is needed before the procedure can be called a cure.
Currently, truckers with insulin-dependent diabetes can only
get a waiver from the medical requirement if they have three years driving
experience while controlling their diabetes. But, before the waiver program was
enacted in 2003, drivers weren’t allowed to drive interstate if they were
insulin dependent, making the three-year requirement for the waiver virtually
impossible to meet.