Program Background & Timeline


The City of Hope Islet Cell Transplant (ICT) Program has its roots in the Southern California Islet Consortium, which was formed in 2000, in concert with the development of an islet cell processing facility at City of Hope. The consortium was based upon a collaboration among leading transplant programs in and around Southern California. City of Hope’s islet processing facility serves as central resource to prepare and distribute islets for transplantation and research.

In 2001, the City of Hope islet processing center received the first of multiple grant awards from the National Institutes of Health/JDRF to support its islet isolation and distribution efforts on a national level. Our islet processing facility has provided millions of islets to support clinical trials and basic science research conducted across the U.S.

The City of Hope ICT Program performed its first islet transplant into a patient with type 1 diabetes in April 2004 under the Islet Transplantation Alone (ITA) trial. In 2008, the program broadened to include kidney transplant recipients under our Islet After Kidney (IAK) trial. (Both of these trials are now complete and closed to further enrollment.)

Between these two trials, the ICT Program performed a total of 45 islet transplants in 20 subjects with type 1 diabetes. Transplant outcomes are consistent with those achieved by leading islet transplant programs around the world.

The ICT Program has now opened its latest trial to enrollment. This trial involves the use of a T-cell depleting immunosuppression regimen, which we believe will reduce the number of islets lost to rejection in the first months after transplant.

City of Hope scientists are also exploring several different lines of research to improve islet transplantation so it can someday be made available as an effective treatment and possible cure for all patients with diabetes.

The below timeline outlines major accomplishments made by the SC-IC and the ICT Program since its inception in 2000.