Islet Cell Transplantation Program

City of Hope's Islet Cell Transplantation Program aims to address islet transplantation challenges and spark advancements by conducting novel research and sharing its unique findings, resources and expertise with the scientific community.
The program's goals include:
  • Establishing and improving the safety of islet cell transplantation as a treatment for type 1 diabetes with a large base of data.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of islet cell transplantation as a treatment and possible cure for type 1 diabetes.
  • Establishing islet cell transplantation as a superior and more viable treatment option for type 1 diabetes patients.
  • Facilitating islet cell-related research in the public interest.
City of Hope researchers and clinicians are collaborating to overcome hurdles currently facing islet transplantation so that it can someday be approved for treatment of all patients with type 1 diabetes. These scientific objectives include:
  1. Optimizing methodology for organ procurement, islet isolation, islet culture to maximize islet yield, survival and function.
  2. Devising effective strategies for expanding islet cell mass and differentiating insulin-producing cells from adult and/or embryonic stem cells to address shortages in donor islet supply.
  3. Improving islet quality assessment techniques to ensure that islets certified for clinical transplant are of the highest quality.
  4. Exploring alternative sites for islet cell transplantation outside of the liver.
  5. Establishing improved methodology for monitoring islet function in vivo post-transplant (e.g., islet imaging, islet gene profiling, immune monitoring, etc).
  6. Improving immunosuppression to prevent islet graft rejection.
  7. Devising strategies to induce “immune tolerance” so that islet cell transplantation may be given without the risks associated with chronic immunosuppression.
Contact Us
Scientists conducting islet research can apply to receive islets through the website of the National Institues of Health-funded Integrated Islet Distribution Program (IIDP).