Massimo Trucco, MD, on Improving Access to Islet Cell Transplant


The director of the Alleghany Health Network Institute of Cellular Therapeutics discussed islet cell transplant for the treatment of chronic pancreatitis.

“We are working very hard to make the auto transplant also available, which uses the same procedure for the allo-transplant in which you can take the islet cell from any diseased donor. Transplant in a diabetic patient is technically the same thing and is very feasible.”

Islet cell transplant is emerging as a cell therapy approach to treat conditions including type 1 diabetes (T1D) and chronic pancreatitis. Recent data from Vertex Pharmaceuticals showcased the efficacy of this approach, with VX-880 reducing insulin dependence in the first 2 patients with T1D treated in a phase 1/2 study (NCT04786262).1

Alleghany Health Network recently performed its first islet cell transplant to treat chronic pancreatitis under the lead of Massimo Trucco, MD, director, Alleghany Health Network Institute of Cellular Therapeutics.2 As part of this procedure, the pancreas is removed to avoid the effects of chronic pancreatitis and islet cells are transplanted into the liver to maintain insulin production.

CGTLive spoke with Trucco to learn more about islet cell transplant as a treatment for chronic pancreatitis and T1D. He discussed improving access to the procedure.

1. Markmann JF, Naji A, Rickels MR, et al. Stem cell–derived, fully differentiated islet cells for type 1 diabetes. Presented at: ADA 82nd Scientific Sessions Conference, June 6, 2022, New Orleans, Louisiana. Abstract #259-OR.
2. AHN performs its first islet cell transplants to treat chronic pancreatitis. News release. AHN. October 5, 2021.
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